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Youth Team

O'Reilly 'Over The Moon' With Award

24 May 2018

It's been an impressive first season at the club for young midfielder Adam O'Reilly, who has picked up the Scholar of the Year award to cap off a terrific year with the U18s.

O'Reilly joined the Lilywhites from Ringmahon Rangers last summer and during the 2017/18 season he has made an appearance on the bench for the first team and had a trip away with the Republic of Ireland U17s for their European Championship campaign, making it a season to remember for the youngster.

Speaking to PNE.Com after picking up the end of season award, Adam said: "I'm over the moon with the award, all of the hard work has sort of paid off now looking back over the years and to it is just an honour for me and my family and everyone that supported me.

"I was shocked when I heard that I won it because I was a first year and I don't think I've heard of many first years that have won it so I'm delighted with the award.

After his first full year in English football, Adam feels he has settled in well and he admits the transition has been made easier by the strong Irish contingent at the club.

"I came over for my first year and coming over to England it put a lot of pressure on my shoulders so to get this in my first year of my scholarship is unbelievable for me.

"I came over when I was 14 first and so I knew some of the lads but when I started moving into the first team set up in training, it started to change a bit because there are a lot of big players at the club and training with them and competing with them is something else. Not many people get to do that and I am just delighted with it.

"Alan Browne came from my club in Ireland so for him to be over here as well is just another thing that helps you settle in. There is obviously a big Irish contingent and it's like a small little family over there, the way they just brought me in straight away and settled me down, it was really good."

One highlight of the season for the young Irishman was his inclusion in the matchday squad for the Championship clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers back in February, but O'Reilly hopes this is just the start for him on his journey to become a professional footballer.

"I was delighted to be called up on such a big occasion and it was just something else. I am just very happy that the manager put his trust in me to put me on the bench that day and I'm just over the moon.

"This is just another stepping stone in the process of being a professional footballer. That is what every scholar wants to do and that is my aim, to become a professional footballer.

Inclusion in the Republic of Ireland U17 squad for their European Championship campaign was another boost for Adam and it's experience he feels he has learnt a lot from heading into his final year as a scholar.

"The Irish set up is another step up again from club level because you are coming up against the best players in the country and just to be involved in the European Championships is a big benefit to me because the standard of football is up another level again.

"Being involved in that is a big honour and it helped me a lot with my playing style and helped me to grow as a footballer."

On his hopes for next season, Adam added: "Ahead of next season, having won the scholar of the year award this year, I am of course going to look to win it again and I want to try and push in to the first team. I want to try and get involved there and see if I can maybe make my debut, that would be a big goal for me and who knows what will happen."

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