Aiden O’Neill is hopeful of using his time on loan with Central Coast Mariners to thrust himself into Socceroos calculations.
The 20-year-old, who has represented Australia’s under-23s twice, signed for Central Coast on a season-long loan from Premier League club Burnley on Wednesday.
He has made three appearances for Burnley’s first time since 2016, and has been farmed out on loan twice to Oldham Athletic and Fleetwood Town.
“Obviously playing in the English Premier League is every boy’s dream but leading into it (my debut), I didn’t think about it too much to be honest,” O’Neill said of his move back to Australia.
“For my family and myself it was a very proud moment but that’s just the start and I’ve got my whole career ahead of me.
“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.”
Ultimately, the central-midfielder wants to further his chances of national team involvement in Gosford.
“A long-term goal of mine is also to break into the Socceroos squad,” he added.
“Moving over here 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.”
Mariners boss Mike Mulvey said O’Neill was “a young player on a mission”.
“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,” Mulvey said.
O’Neill is Mulvey’s 11th new signing of the offseason.