O’Neil capture is a major coup for Brig

Oscar ONeil in action for Preston's youth team against Stoke last season in the FA Youth Cup
Oscar ONeil in action for Preston's youth team against Stoke last season in the FA Youth Cup

Neil Reynolds believes the capture of young Preston midfielder Oscar O’Neil will provide his Bamber Bridge team with an extra dimension.

The Brig boss swooped to sign the 17-year-old on a month’s loan on Wednesday after reaching an agreement with North End boss Alex Neil.

The son of former PNE 
favourite and ex-Scottish 
international Brian O’Neil, he will go straight into the squad for this weekend’s NPL First 
Division North fixture against Colne at Holt House.

“It’s a big coup for us to bring Oscar in,” said Reynolds. “I would like to thank Preston for letting it happen.

“Alex Neil was impressed with what he saw at Bamber Bridge when we played them in pre-season.

“He wants Oscar to go out and play some football, so we’re thankful that he’s given us the chance to let him play his football with us.

“Signing Oscar strengthens us in midfield and gives us a different option in that area.

“He’s a box-to-box midfielder, who likes to break up play on the edge of his own 
area and then start creating.

“He’s young, dynamic, 
eager to impress and we’re 
really pleased to have him.”

O’Neil is certainly expected to have some part to play over the next few days as Brig face a hectic schedule.

After playing Colne, they then travel to Atherton 
Collieries on Monday night.

However, the mood of the camp is buoyant, especially 
after Tuesday night’s 4-1 
demolition of Kendal Town, which saw them move up to fourth in the table.

The win also saw them 
banish the memory of Saturday’s surprise 2-1 loss to North West Counties League outfit Ashton Athletic in the FA Cup.

“We created so many chances against Kendal, like we did against Ashton,” 
Reynolds said.

“But the difference was against Kendal we took them.

“We are playing well at the moment and playing good football. But we’ll be tested 
against Colne. I am good friends with their manager Steve Cunningham but he will have his team fired up.”

Brig have received encouraging news on the fitness of influential midfielder Jamie Milligan. The 37-year-old veteran feared he may have to undergo knee surgery after breaking down in training last week. However, initial scans suggest the former Fleetwood star just requires rest and recuperation. “We are just waiting on a second opinion, but it looks like he won’t need surgery,” Reynolds said. “He does have arthritis in there, so it might be just a case of managing the injury.”