AFTER joining Waterford on a six-month loan from Preston North End, Adam Reilly admitted that Cork City did show interest in bringing him to the club, but that playing in the Premier Division in Ireland is what persuaded the Cork native to sign for the Blues.
Reilly is a promising talented player and his aim is always to play at the highest-level no matter what the circumstances.
“Preston and my agent spoke to me a few weeks back about the possibility of going on loan, Reilly said.
"There were a few clubs interested in taking me on loan both in England and in Ireland. Cork City were one of those clubs but the reason I chose Waterford was because, I’ve always said to myself, ‘I want to play at the highest level that I can, no matter where I go’.
"I spoke to the manager (Kevin Sheedy) and I was very impressed with what he had to say and his plans for the team.
"He came across a great character, not just when he spoke about football but with everything we talked about and he was very funny.
"I thought after speaking to him that moving to Waterford was the best move for me.
“Playing with Waterford in the Premier Division, I’m going to be playing against some top players.
"I haven’t played in the League of Ireland but obviously, being from Ireland I know a lot about the league.
"It’s going to be a difficult league to play in, I know a few players who have played in the league for example Graham Burke, who was at Preston with me.
"He is an excellent player and has been capped for the Republic of Ireland senior team. There are some very good players in the league and I’m expecting the league to be a very high level.”
Reilly is no stranger to loans and having spent time on loan at Hyde United and Stalybridge Celtic.
The Preston player only signed a new three-year contract with the club last season but has found it difficult at times this campaign due to the lack of games, but Reilly hopes that by getting game time with Waterford, he can show just how talented a player he is.
“I have managed to see the facilities at Waterford, and I must admit I was blown away with how good they were.
"The club showed me everything and I was very impressed. The training ground, the gym in the stadium and where I will be staying are all excellent.
"The club will be providing accommodation for me and other lads on the team.
“The main thing for me is to get some games under my belt. It’s been awhile since I played a competitive game, it’s probably been about four or five months.
"It has been frustrating because obviously all I wanted to do was play games and try and impress people.
"All I could do was keep my head down and work as hard as I could. I recently signed a three-year deal with Preston so it shows that the club trust me and they can see a future for me at the club.
“But I need to play games. I need to get more experience of playing men’s football. I want to make a name for myself and show people just what I can do.
"My previous loans with Hyde and Stalybridge, have certainly helped me and I’m hoping my time at Waterford will be the same.
"Preston didn’t have a reserve team or an under-23 team so I went from playing youth team football, to playing men’s football.
“There is a massive difference between the two and I noticed that straight away from the moment I stepped on the pitch.
"You are playing against guys who are playing for their livelihoods. Players who are playing to pay their mortgages or any other bills they have, and it was good to play in that environment.
"The games are very competitive, and it was good to get that experience because the speed of the game was a lot quicker than I imagined it would be and much quicker than what is was at youth team level.
“Before I left, I spoke to Preston and they said I just need to go out and get more experience in men’s football. To go and show people what I can do.
"I think it has come to a stage where I’m ready to do that.”
Reflecting on his time at Preston so far, Reilly has enjoyed his experience with the club and that the team bonding is one he finds very helpful daily.
“Obviously, I would have liked to have played more but the lads in the team are brilliant. Brownie (Alan Browne) and Seani (Sean Maguire) have really helped me.
"Brownie is the captain of the club, so he is a big influence and is always trying to give me advice and Seani will help me as well.
“I live with Jordan Storey, which over the past few months because of Covid, has been good because my family haven’t been able to come over as much as they would have liked to because of restrictions.
"It helps living with Storey because it’s good to go home and have someone to chat to rather than being by yourself through these difficult times for everyone.”