Preston North End's forgotten man is racking up the minutes ahead of upcoming Championship season

Preston North End's forgotten man continues to rack up the minutes ahead of the start of the 2022/23 Championship campaign.

By Tom Sandells
Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 12:30 pm

Adam O’Reilly joined St Patricks Athletic in the League of Ireland in January on a loan deal until the end of July, although there is scope to extend to the end of the Irish season.

A Republic of Ireland youth international, the 21-year-old made his Lilywhites debut four years ago, he came on as a substitute against Aston Villa in December 2018, signing his first pro deal in the following January.

A number of loans have followed, with Bamber Bridge, Hyde United, Stalybridge Celtic and Waterford having all benefitted from the energy that O’Reilly can provide in the midfield, though his time in a PNE shirt has generally been restricted to Central League games.

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Adam O'Reilly in Central League action at PNE's Euxton training ground.

He is making a name for himself in his home country despite not starting in his first three games of the season but after coming into the side and impressing in a game against Shamrock Rovers, he has not looked back.

He has been invovled in every game since, nearing 1,200 minutes, as St Pat's push at the top end of the table. They finished runners up last season but are fourth so far in this campaign.

At 21, it looks as if the ship has unfortuantely sailed for the Irishman at Deedpale, despite bright early showings. He has also impressed when playing for the reserve team, his combative style is dovetailed nicely with control on the ball and a willingness to get forward.

However it looks more like Ryan Lowe is looking beyond O’Reilly’s crop that emerged from the academy - Ethan Walker and Jack Baxter came through at the same time and neither are still at the club.

Instead eyes have turned towards the likes of Mikey O’Neill, Noah Mawene and Aaron Bennett.

O’Reilly still has one year left on his contract and he is no stranger to setbacks, so one more season of pushing for a chance will not be strange to 21-year-old.

Lowe’s assessment of those yet to make their mark having been around the first team for a while was that if they were good enough, they would have done so by now – though, of course, there is still time.