Socceroos a target for Aiden O'Neill after sealing Mariners loan

The Australian midfielder has the national team in his sights

Aiden O'Neill has taken one step back in the hope of taking many more forward after joining Central Coast Mariners on loan.

The 20-year-old Australian has swapped the English Premier League for the A-League after finding regular game time hard to come by at Burnley.

Linking up with Mike Mulvey's side on a season-long loan, O'Neill admitted the Socceroos are on his mind as he looks impress new coach Graham Arnold on home soil.

"A long-term goal of mine is also to break into the Socceroos squad," O'Neill said.

After moving to England as a 14-year-old and being quickly snapped up by Burnley, the midfielder has fallen off the national radar somewhat despite making three Premier League appearances.

O'Neill was included in Australia's U23 squad earlier this year but is yet to play a minute at any level for the national team.

Despite not yet having his international dreams realised, the Brisbane-born midfielder has excelled at club level and made his Premier League debut as an 18-year-old against Liverpool.

"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," he said.

"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. 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."

Aiden O'Neill Bolton Wanderers v Burnley Friendlly 26072016

O'Neill called League One side Fleetwood Town home last season on loan, making 27 appearances and scoring one goal.

He has however opted for a move to Gosford this time around and is eager to make the most of his time with the Mariners. 

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"After I heard Mike Mulvey and Nick Montgomery were interested I just couldn’t wait to get it all done and get stuck into pre-season," he 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."

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