Perth Glory Football Club is delighted to announce that Central Midfielder Brandon O’Neill has signed a new, two-year deal with the club.
The 19-year-old who made his debut for the club in the 2011/12 Hyundai A-League season and has already made two starts this season. The former Western Australia NTC product signed a youth contract in 2010 before re-signing again in 2011 and welcomed the opportunity to pledge his immediate future to the hometown club.
“The first year I signed here I thought, I want to stay here, I don’t want to go anywhere else. It’s another dream come true, for me personally to grow up supporting the Glory and now to sign my second contract extension is brilliant, I don’t want to go anywhere else and Glory is the perfect fit for me,” O’Neill said.
O’Neill, who has also played for Australia in an U22 AFC qualifier against Indonesia, is one of a number of WA youngsters who are coming through the Glory ranks and is further confirmation of the local development pathway the club is actively promoting. O’Neill said it was a real confidence booster to see the younger players all presented with playing opportunities.
“You see the likes of Matt Davies coming in for another young lad Josh Risdon, another WA boy who has done brilliantly. I think Riley (Woodcock) will get his opportunity soon, the likes of Cameron and Ryan (Edwards) that have come back. Harry (O’Brien)’s done brilliantly, Ndumba (Makeche)’s done brilliantly so all the WA boys have come in and shown just how good they are.”
“All the young lads that are coming through I’ve played NTC football, State football and even been lucky enough to represent Australia with some of the lads in there.”
“To have that bond with them, to come into training, you know you’ll have the banter with them, you’ll have the friendship and going on the field you know they’re going to work hard for you, it’s just a delight to come in and work with them,” he said.
Assistant Coach Gareth Naven also heaped praise on the versatile O’Neill and says the signing is just reward for the larger Western Australian football family who have put a lot time and effort into the talented teenager.
“I remember having Brano in my State team at U13 level. He’s probably sick and tired of me to be honest because he keeps seeing me all over the place, but he hasn’t changed at all, a very humble person and just loves his football,” Naven said.
“He’s a good balance for us in a position as either a centre back role or midfield role but he’s also the type of player that we have here … and want here.”
“We’re all for WA pathways because it’s really important. A lot of coaches and federations are investing a lot of time, money and resource into setting up the pathway and making sure we capture every one of those players … and Brano is one of those players,” he added.
A naturally gifted Central Midfielder, O’Neill adaptability was evident when he started the 2013/14 Hyundai A-League season opener against Adelaide United as Centre Back in place of the injured Michael Thwaite.
O’Neill says he couldn’t be happier with the playing culture at Glory at the moment as he continues to fine-tune his profession under Head Coach Alistair Edward’s and the rest of the more experienced senior squad members.
“The philosophy that we have in place with Alistair and the type of football we play, not for my benefit as well but for most of the young lads coming through, that’s the way we want to play. It’s the brand of football we want to produce in Perth.”
“I think learning off the likes of McGarry, Burns and even Smeltz and these types of guys, my career will go from strength to strength and I can make a good stint of it.”