In getting to know some of the Club’s youngsters, fulhamfc.com pays a regular visit to our Under-21 and Under-18 squads to put a potential star of the future in the spotlight. Today we spoke to Under-18s defender Daniel O’Reilly, who talks us through his fledgling career so far.
Have the other players given you a nickname?
Not really. Being Irish, I just get stick for the way I pronounce ‘three’ and ‘think’. That seems to cause great hilarity.
Coming from Ireland, I bet you support Manchester United?
Yep! But now I’m over here, I’m only really interested in Fulham. When Fulham played United a few weeks ago in the Barclays Premier League I was rooting for the Whites.
Were you homesick at all when you left Ireland? It must have been hard for a young lad to leave his family behind?
It was tough at the start. You get used to it, though, and my family come over a fair bit from Kildare, which is about 20 minutes from Dublin. My Dad also has a place up in St Helen’s. He comes down a fair bit – he loves watching the games. So seeing him is good and all the lads helped me settle in. There’s a couple of other Irish boys here as well which always helps.
What’s it like being in digs?
I like it. I’m still in the same digs as last year; it’s a real nice family atmosphere in a good location. I get all my cooking done for me. I’ve offered to cook, but I haven’t been taken up on it yet!
In your brief career so far, what’s been your footballing highlight?
I’ve captained Ireland at Under-15, 16 and 17 level. I love playing for my country.
And your low?
Touch wood, I’ve been blessed with not having any injuries. Lets hope it stays that way! My lowlights would be when I’ve not been picked to play.
Is there a stadium apart from Craven Cottage that you’d most like to play at?
What was the first football shirt that you owned?
I used to get a Manchester United kit every season. I think there was a reversible shirt one year.
Is there any one player that you like to watch closely?
Being from Ireland, I liked watching Richard Dunne, just for the way he loved playing for his country and would always put his body on the line. I also liked watching Fabio Cannavaro. Like me, he wasn’t a massive centre-half but the way he approached the game and dealt with bigger strikers was so clever.
For people who don’t know too much about you what are your main strengths as a player?
My main strengths are probably how comfortable I am on the ball. I’m left footed and I’m good in the air, as you have to be for a centre-half.
What about areas for improvement?
I can improve my physical presence, but that’s natural and takes time. There are lots of other areas, no-one’s perfect. All you can do is work hard and go from there.
Away from the pitch, what is your all-time favourite film?
I saw Ted recently, that was pretty funny. Happy Gilmore is my top film, though. You can’t beat a bit of Adam Sandler.
What song would you choose for a spot of karaoke?
Probably ‘You Are Not Alone’ by Michael Jackson. Just for a bit of banter.
And what do you never miss on the box?
It’s got to be Match of the Day. I love a bit of Friends as well.
Turning your attentions to your teammates, which one makes you laugh the most?
George Williams. He’s got no brain. I can’t mention some of the things he says and does! He’s just a silly little kid.
You lot love your tricks - which player has the most in his locker on that front?
[Muamer] Tankovic and George Williams are pretty skillful, but Moussa Dembele is probably the best. He’s settled in well. His English is better than he sometimes lets on!
And finally, as your career moves forward, what’s the one piece of advice that you remember above the rest?
Never take things for granted. If you have an opportunity, give it your all. I learnt that at school. My principal said it when I was graduating, but it’s true.