O’Neill at home away from home

O’Neill at home away from home

Posted on December 12, 2015 in 'News'

When ECU Joondalup youngster Brandon O’Neill left WA this year his future was up in the air, but ever since he arrived at Sydney FC he has been an integral part of the Sky Blues good start to the season.

After splitting ties with Perth Glory at the end of his contract the 21-year-old has settled well on and off the park, and as the photo on the right shows his parents taught him well.

Since moving in with fellow team mates Riley Woodcock and Andrew Hoole, his football has improved, and he said living with the pair has also been good for him. “We’ve been living together about four months, and we really have a good laugh together,” O’Neill said. “Most things we do we do together, like cooking and cleaning, but we’ll also go get coffees and hang out too.

“For my football it’s been a really good thing, and it’s probably made me grow up very quickly. It’s definitely helped me adapt to the new club and situation very quickly, and it’s been easier as a result fitting in and getting the job done.”

O’Neill said that former Glory defender Woodcock was the best cook of the group, and said that the 20-year old squad fullback was a good influence on his diet and lifestyle. Woodcock said this wasn’t his first time living away from home, having previously trained at the Australian Institute of Sport. He, like O’Neill, said that he believed living with other athletes was a great way to bring out better training ethic and possibly improved performance.

“I think that living with other players you’re going through the same experiences, and leading the same lives and making the same sacrifices,” Woodcock said. “It’s a good immediate support network. I’ve known Brandon for about eight years, but I’ve only just met Hooley — but they are both really great guys, and that certainly helps.”

Woodcock was named by his two housemates as the one who keeps the household going, but he declined to comment on whether he thought this was true. “Brandon’s very organised around the house, and Hooley not so much — he’s very laid-back,” Woodcock said. “We all cater for ourselves and our own needs though, so it works out well.”

Hoole, 22, said he thinks that having friends on demand to hang-out with was great part of living with teammates. “Living with these two guys is great because they’re good fun and help to take your mind off football,” he said. “You can’t have football in your brain 24/7 or you’ll kill your mind, and it’s good we’ll get outdoors and do stuff, or go for a coffee and do a lot of non-football things together.”