Aussie O'Neill looking forward to being 'smashed'

Australia's Premier League rookie Aiden O'Neill is expecting "to get smashed" each week as he exits Burnley for a relegation dog fight at Oldham.

Aiden O'Neill

Aiden O'Neill playing for Burnley Source: Getty Images

The 18-year-old Queenslander - who made three top flight appearances with promoted Burnley this season - anticipates a torrid reception in his debut against fellow League One battlers Chesterfield on Saturday night (AEDT) as he hunts the week-to-week football which will "toughen him up" for his return to Turf Moor when his loan spell expires at the end of the season.

"I am sure people will be out to smash me and it's going to be a good challenge to show that I can be smashed but just keep getting back up," he said.

"It's going to be tough but I'm relishing that.

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"Obviously I will have to fight for my place like anybody else but I hope to go in there a help them get out of the position they're in at the moment.



"Chesterfield away first up should be a good experience... they are a point ahead of us and we need a result."

O'Neill signed a three and a half year deal with Burnley a little over six months ago in a show of faith in his potential by the Premier League club.

With the arrival of fellow midfielders Joey Barton, Ashley Westwood and Robbie Brad limiting the youngster's opportunities, O'Neill plans to use his loan spell at Oldham to enhance his prospects under Burnley coach Sean Dyche at a club he believes have a long-term future in the top division.

"I think the team is looking good and I am happy to have got some Premier League experience under my belt at a young age ... it's the sort of stuff you dream of," he said.

"But it's not easy to stay around the team ... there are a lot of experienced players ahead of me who I have learned a lot from."



The lure of playing competitive league football, as opposed to turning out for Burnley's development squad, was a no-brainer for O'Neill.

"It's about the three points at the end of the day in a first team like Oldham, and that's the sort of experience I need," he added.

"I think it will help me mature as a player."


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2 min read
Published 3 February 2017 at 10:21am
By Dave Lewis