Preston North End prospect Adam O’Reilly wants to send a reminder to Alex Neil on his loan spell with Ireland’s Waterford squad.
The teenager is gearing up for the start of the high-flying season next week in Ireland and hopes to show off his talent and launch his senior career at Deepdale.
The 19-year-old benched for North end and has a last-minute league appearance under his belt after playing the final moments of a draw with Aston Villa in 2018.
But since then he has struggled for minutes and admits frustration with the lack of playing time, as well as a conversation with Neil, convinced the midfielder that a loan would be the best option.
O’Reilly has returned to his native Ireland and can’t wait to make a good impression.
“I know there are no guarantees in football, but I have no doubts that I can be a key player a week in a week for Waterford,” he said, talk to Echo Live.
“That’s my goal because I want to help the team do well, but my ultimate goal is to come back to play in England, and to do that I need to gain as much playing time as possible.
“I want to play every week. This is what I missed while I was in Preston.
“It’s frustrating when you feel like you could play and at one point I went almost six months without a competitive game. It was really tough.
“Coming to Waterford will hopefully give me more experience and playing time that I need.
“I spoke to my manager Alex Neil about his plans for me for the season and it was agreed that going on loan to gain experience would be my best option.”
With North End lacking an Under-23 team, the transition from Academy to first team is abrupt at Deepdale.
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This means loan moves are crucial for the club’s youth players and Neil admitted earlier in the season that it has been difficult to secure the right deals.
“The loan market this season, for where our young players are at the moment, has been very difficult because non-league football has been stopped,” he said last month.
“The teams in Leagues 2 and 1 had caps (salaries) which meant they were more reluctant to spend money on other guys than they would bring in to give them a chance.
“But that market has really been cut this season and has been difficult for young players.”