Midfielder reflects on a season of personal landmarks
- Lewis O'Brien talks about his new contract
- 19-year-old discusses his First Team involvement
- Midfielder hails the impact of Mark Hudson as coach
Lewis O’Brien is looking to build on a year of significant personal landmarks in the 2018/19 season after signing a new three-year contract at Huddersfield Town this week.
The 19-year-old – an attack-minded, left-footed midfielder – has committed his future to the Terriers until the summer of 2021, telling htafc.com: “I’m very pleased to sign a three-year contract. I was surprised when I was offered it – I wasn’t really thinking about it – but it’s one of the best things that could have happened to me.”
A former two-time winner of the Club’s Academy Player of the Year accolade, Lewis made his first appearance in David Wagner’s match day squad in the Emirates FA Cup win at Bolton Wanderers back in January.
The youngster admitted that he was taken aback when he first learned of his involvement:
“I’d be training with the First Team in the run-up to the game and when it came to the Friday, three or four of the Under-23 players were still involved,” Lewis explained.
“The Head Coach pulled everyone over into a circle and, when he told everyone what the team was, he finished by saying that I was travelling. I was stood at the back and I had to double-check with Rams (Rarmani Edmonds-Green) that he had said my name; I was so surprised!”
Although he didn’t get on the pitch on that afternoon, the Colchester-born midfielder described the benefits he got from being involved with the senior side.
“The way that a First Team game is organised was quite a change for me. I’m used to turning up on the day and playing for the Under-23 team, but I had to report at 9.30am, we had a meal together and then time to prepare in our own rooms.
“Even being on the bench with our fans there was so different to playing at PPG Canalside with 120 fans there. It was such a great experience.”
Two months’ later, Lewis skippered Town’s Under-19 side to a 2-1 win over European giants Bayern Munich in Germany; an experience he likened to the First Team environment.
“It was quite similar to the First Team’s preparation when I travelled to Bolton. We travelled earlier and trained as a group beforehand. To train and play at Bayern Munich in a Stadium at their training ground was a completely new experience.
“I think that drove us on to go there and win. We were so determined to make the most of the opportunity having travelled out there and experienced top facilities. That’s the level we all aspire to perform at.”
Lewis was also quick to praise the influence that former Club Captain Mark Hudson has had on him since taking over the Academy’s senior age group in January 2018.
“Mark has had a massive, positive impact on me. He gives all the players such confidence and keeps us at ease. I’m not afraid to make mistakes under him.
“I’m so much more comfortable on the ball now. I’m willing to receive possession in positions that previously I wouldn’t have been comfortable in. That’s the same when I’m driving forward too; I’m so much more confident and reassured in everything I do.
“The change he’s made on the team is so notable too. The way we apply reactive pressure on teams is ridiculous sometimes! I think we’ve shown his impact in how we’ve performed since he’s worked with us.”
O’Brien’s challenge is to continue the hard work with his coaches in training on a day-to-day basis, but he’s under no doubt as to his long-term aspiration.
“Obviously, my ultimate eventual aim is to play for Huddersfield Town in the Premier League!”