Lewis O’Brien reflects on pre-season with David Wagner’s First Team
- Lewis O’Brien on getting the taste of First Team football
- Midfielder discusses his progression under Town’s Head Coach
- 19-year-old previews the Academy’s match against Conwy Borough
A summer of training and playing with Huddersfield Town’s First Team squad has inspired 19-year-old Lewis O’Brien ahead of the 2018/19 season.
The attack minded, left-footed midfielder was one of three Academy players training with David Wagner’s squad during pre-season, travelling to both Germany and Austria, whilst also featuring in five friendlies.
Lewis, who has been named Town’s Academy Player of the Season on two occasions, explained to htafc.com how he’s seen his own game development due to his First Team involvement.
“The biggest thing for me has been increasing the pace of my own game.
“Training and playing with the First Team has made me think and do things more quickly because I know if I take an extra touch then I’ll get tackled.”
Over the course of the summer, the youngster has played against the likes of Werder Bremen and Real Betis, testing himself against top-level opposition.
“Playing against senior opposition is completely different, especially in pre-season,” said Lewis.
“It was a massive challenge for me and I was very tired after playing but I relished the opportunities.
“Everything is so much quicker and sharper than Academy football and you just don’t stop running. You don’t get a rest because you have to press, show for the ball and get on the ball.
“In the games, I constantly told myself to move, to show for the ball, to press or get into position rather than just watching the ball go over to the other side of the pitch.
“I felt like I did well in those games, dealt with what was expected of me well and became a better player because of it.”
You can watch highlights of the Real Betis that Lewis O'Brien was involved in on #HTTV below! The attacking midfielder set up a great chance for Abdelhamid Sabiri.
The 19-year-old has been involved in training sessions with David Wagner’s First Team over the last couple of seasons, most notably being named as an unused substitute in Town’s Emirates FA Cup match away at Bolton Wanderers during the 2017/18 campaign.
Lewis explained how he has developed in those sessions and how the coaches have helped him.
“When I first started training and playing with the First Team I found it quite challenging, because the tempo is so different.
“But as I’ve been involved more and more, especially over the last few months, I’ve found it easier to step-up because I’m physically and mentally stronger.
“As a young player you get dropped into the sessions every now and again and getting put into situations where you’re competing in intense training sessions with the First Team players helps because you get used to it more and you adapt to the higher tempo.
“The coaches are always telling you what you need to do and where you need to be, especially during the games. You can hear them on the side-lines, giving you instructions and that always helps.”
Since the 2018/19 Premier League season has begun, Lewis has been training with both Town’s Academy and the First Team, however, he’s keen to prove himself once again.
“Once you’ve been involved with a First Team, you want to be there all the time, being challenged constantly because that’s what’ll help you progress.
“You don’t want to drop back down and be taking that extra touch for example, you want to be getting tackled and making mistakes because that’s the best way to learn.”
Now, Lewis is firmly focused on making sure he gets the most from the tasks ahead, starting with another senior side in Wednesday’s match against Welsh Alliance League side Conwy Borough.
He explained what he expects to get out of the game and how that’ll help him and the fellow Young Terriers to progress.
“We know we will be playing against strong men who will want to win. They won’t want to be beaten by us, so it’ll be a good test and interesting to see how we adapt as a team.
“This game will be a completely different scenario for all of us, travelling to Conwy and playing on a pitch that we probably won’t play on again.
“We know they’ll be physical and will see how we react, so it’ll be a good physical and mental test that’ll help us improve in all aspects.”
Mark Hudson will lead the young side during the match that’ll take place on Wednesday 15 August 2018; 7.45pm kick-off at the Y Morfa Stadium.
If you’d like to support the Young Terriers please CLICK HERE to find out about ticket information.
Live match updates will also be available on the Academy’s official Twitter account @htafcAcademy.