AFTER a spell with League of Ireland side Waterford, Adam O’Reilly is back in the UK hoping to break into Preston North End's first team.
The 20-year-old from Mahon has been involved with the squad for the past three years but has yet to get an opportunity to play on the big stage. Here he tells us about his ambition of establishing himself with Preston and his hopes of getting back involved with the international setup.
“I’m delighted to be back in England and I hope things can push on from here now,” said O’Reilly.
“It was great to be home while playing with Waterford.
“I was at Waterford for about four months and that was my fourth time out on loan. I’ve been on loan three other times previous to that so it wasn’t anything new to me going to a new team and trying to mix well with the lads.
"Going to Waterford was probably one of the best decisions I made as I needed game time to show I can play at a very good level against top players which I felt I proved when I went there.
“I absolutely loved it there and felt that the manager Marc Bircham when he came in took me under his wing and helped me a lot with my game and pushing me on to be a better player. He proved how good he is by what he did with the team and how well they’ve been doing since he arrived. I’ve made a lot of very good friendships at Waterford and hope to see them all again soon.
“Being home was really good and I got to see everyone and really kind of felt like a young lad again. When I’m in England on my own it feels like I’ve to be more mature and act a lot older than my age as I’m on my own over there. So being at home and being able to switch off for a few months was great.
“While in Waterford I still always had it in my head that I need to get back to England as soon as I can and show why I deserve an opportunity at Preston.”
Currently playing in the reserve league, the former Ringmahon player has been kept busy working on his fitness, wanting to be in the best possible shape for when his chance might come.
“I currently train five days a week Monday to Friday as I like to keep myself in the best condition possible for being ready whenever I might be given an opportunity to play. At the moment I’m not being given the chance for the first team on match day which is very frustrating but I do play in the central league which is a reserve league for the first team Players and it has been going well.
“I’ve been training full time with the first team for a while but I would really like to be given the opportunity soon as I’ve felt I've been impressing on the pitch recently scoring and assisting in the reserve league.
"Obviously there is always the possibility of me going out on loan again which is not the worst scenario as it could give me more game time but the aim is to hopefully stay where I am and break into the squad.
“Since returning to England, life hasn’t changed for me much, besides moving out on my own into an apartment which is great as I have all the independence in the world now but besides that, everything seems the same, just training every day hoping to achieve my dreams.”
The former underage international has been out of the Irish set-up for a while, which is down to not playing regularly he believes.
“It's very disappointing not been part of the international squads but If I was playing regularly with Preston I would be there no doubt about it. I just feel that not playing isn’t helping me at the moment and it’s tough for me to take as I love playing for my country and putting on the green jersey.
"I’ve been with the Irish team the whole way up from U15 up to U19s but now as I’m not playing, it’s gone against me as I feel if I was playing I could get into the U21 squad and that’s frustrating.”
So for now the aim for the youngster is to continue to work hard, while maturing both on and off the pitch to achieve his dream of playing regularly at the top level.
“Life in England isn’t much different to at home besides the people here really. I currently live in Preston not far from the training ground which is a bonus.
"I used to live with Jordan Storey but recently moved out on my own to gain as much independence as I can in my life and start to learn about the big world. In my spare time I’ve recently picked up golf as I see a lot of players doing it so I decided to start myself but besides that, I’m just relaxing watching tv or seeing a few buddies I have here as we finish fairly early every day.
"Working hard both on and off the pitch is what I will continue to do in order to get where I want.”