Burnley midfielder O'Neill returns home to Central Coast Mariners

Aiden O'Neill
Aiden O'Neill
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Aiden O’Neill has returned to his native Australia to join Central Coast Mariners on a season-long loan.

The Clarets’ midfielder links up with the New South Wales-based club ahead of the start of the new A-League season in October.

O’Neill joined the Clarets from hometown club Brisbane Athletic in 2015 and signed an initial three-year professional deal at Turf Moor the following year.

The 20-year-old has since made six senior appearances for the club, including three from the bench in the Premier League in the early months of the 2016/17 season before productive spells on loan in League One with Oldham Athletic and Fleetwood Town in 2017.

An Australia Under-23 international, O’Neill figured in Burnley’s recent pre-season programme.

But he has now been given the chance to play more regular first-team football with Central Coast, who this summer appointed ex-Claret Mike Phelan as their sporting director, and look to pursue his ambition of playing his way into his senior national squad.

“I’m coming on loan and I want to earn experience. I want to be involved and help the team push forward,” said O’Neill

“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.”

The Mariners, one of eight founder members of the A-League in 2004, finished bottom of the 10-team league last season.