Mariner O'Neill not giving up on his Premier League dream
Central Coast Mariners midfielder Aiden O’Neill has had a taste of life in England’s Premier League, and he’s desperate for more.
O’Neill penned a one-year loan deal with the Hyundai A-League club from EPL outfit Burnley at the start of the season, looking to secure regular first-team football.
And the 20-year-old has done just that, playing 18 of 19 games for the Mariners so far this season and performing superbly for Mike Mulvey’s squad.
Swapping between central midfield and central defence, O’Neill has shown his quality throughout a tough campaign for the Gosford club, scoring three goals including in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Sydney FC.
While keen to end the 2018/19 Season on a high with the Mariners, O’Neill obviously harbours a desire to get back with Burnley and play in the EPL.
“It’s every kid’s dream to play in the Premier League, I’ve done that, but I want to cement myself in the Premier League and be a consistent starter. That’s my aim,” O’Neill said.
“There has been contact with Burnley since I’ve been here but you need to go there and show that you’ve improved, you’ve gained experience and you can come in and make a difference.
“It’s all on me when I go back.”
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O’Neill has so far featured three times in the Premier League for the Clarets, making his debut against Liverpool, while also featuring against Chelsea and Southampton.
They were fleeting moments in the youngster's career in the big time, but he’s thrived on the week in, week out action in the Hyundai A-League.
“When you’re a young kid, you just want to be playing as much football as possible and gain experience,” O’Neill explained.
“Coming here has been a big learning curve for me, so hopefully I can just take all of that experience with me back to Burnley.
“It’s [the Hyundai A-League experience] been really good. It’s very competitive, there’s quite a few players who have played at a very high level this season – I’ve really enjoyed it.”
O’Neill and the Mariners are next in action on Friday night when they host Brisbane Roar at Central Coast Stadium.