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It’s some weeks ago that reports in Australia hinted that Aiden O’Neill might be returning home on a season long loan and that has been confirmed today with the 20-year-old midfielder signing a one year loan deal with Central Coast Mariners.

1718 burnley aiden oneill 00 500x500Aussie O’Neill was actually scouted playing football in England having moved over with his parents but it took some time for us to get international clearance for him with his previous club having been Brisbane Athletic.

He was signed on a two year scholarship in 2015 but couldn’t feature for over a season in competitive football which led to him only playing one game for the youth team, that the embarrassing FA Youth Cup defeat against the Metropolitan Police. During that time he took advantage of the u21s playing mostly behind closed doors friendly games in which he could take part.

Soon after signing his first professional deal, he made a first team debut, coming on as a substitute in the 2-0 Premier League win against Liverpool in August 2016, replacing Andre Gray in stoppage time. He’s since played a further four games for Burnley although the last of them was in the FA Cup tie against Sunderland in the same season.

He’s since spent time out on loan at both Oldham and Fleetwood, for whom he scored his first ever first team goal at Ewood Park against Blackburn.

He’s now joining a club with a Burnley connection; former Claret Micky Phelan joined them during the summer as sporting director.

O’Neill, an under-23 international, said: “I’m coming on loan and I want to earn experience. I want to be involved and help the team push forward. If that helps me when it comes to Burnley then great, but at the end of the day I am here to help the Mariners win games. A long term goal of mine is also to break into the Socceroos squad.

“Moving over to England at a young age makes you grow up very quickly. You’re in a man’s world full of very good footballers and you either float or sink, so my time at Burnley so far has been fantastic.”

O’Neill added: “After I heard Mike Mulvey (head coach) and Nick Montgomery (the former Sheffield United midfielder who is Mulvey’s assistant) were interested I just couldn’t wait to get it all done and stuck into pre-season.”

Mulvey, whose team kick off their new season in October, said: “Aiden O’Neill is a very interesting player. He didn’t play representative football in Brisbane, where he grew up, and was snapped up by Burnley FC after he had moved to England with his parents.

“Any player who trains regularly with an EPL club will have something about him and while Aiden is a young player he is a young player on a mission. I would like to thank Burnley Football Club and particularly the manager Sean Dyche for entrusting us with this next stage of Aiden’s development.”

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