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Five wins, two draws and three clean sheets from the first nine games of the season, shows just how well the opening stages of the campaign have gone for CD Almunecar City Under 23s, and one player in particular who has helped that run is Tyler O’Neill.

Featuring either in midfield or at the heart of defence, he has made himself an important part of Ivan Moya’s side and is enjoying his spell in the team.

The 18 year old explained: “I’ve been enjoying the football out in Spain and I feel I’ve been able to adapt well and my physicality has been effective in matches. I got the chance to play in the midfield at the start of the season but have moved back to centre back which I think has helped us defensively in the last couple of games.”

Tyler’s effort this season, and last year, has not gone unnoticed, with coach Ivan Moya praising the young player’s work ethic.

He said: “Talking about Tyler O’Neill is synonymous with development and perseverance.

“Last season was his first year at the academy and he arrived here at a good level with the ball and very eager to learn, but his physical condition needed to improve which would play an important part of his progression within football.

“When he returned after the summer it was obvious that Tyler had put in the work and he arrived back for preseason, strong and ready to compete. Today he is one of the most important young players in the academy and I am sure that he will have a very positive career.”

As the form would suggest, Almunecar City 23s have started the season on the front foot and Tyler believes it is down to the player’s pulling in the same direction but admits it hasn’t been the perfect start.

“We all have the same goal for the season, to win the league,” he said. “It’s a completely new team to last year but I feel we’ve had some good moments so far this season, but we have also dropped points when we could have gone home with all three.

“However, we are still in fourth place and not far off the top of the table.”

Tyler has also set his sights high, hoping to force his way into George Jermy’s first team plans by the end of the season, while also helping the Under 23s make sure they get to the top of the table.

He said: “Personally, I want to push on and try and get into the first team but for the 23s our aim for the rest of the season is to finish on top of the table and win every game which we are definitely capable of.”

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