TEENAGE midfielder Aiden O'Neill is ready to embrace the battle for places in Burnley's midfield if he stays at Turf Moor this season.

The 19-year-old Aussie began last season as part of Sean Dyche's first team squad, featuring three times off the bench in the Premier League.

He spent the second half of the campaign on loan at Oldham in League One and could yet head out on a short-term basis again this season.

But if he doesn't he is ready to fight for a place in the side against the likes of Jeff Hendrick, Jack Cork, Ashley Westwood and Steven Defour.

"I’ll be ready to fight for it but we’ll see how it goes and where it takes me," O'Neill said.

"Everywhere there is competition, if you don’t have competition it’s not healthy for the team so you’ve got to embrace it and see where it takes you."

O'Neill played 15 games for Oldham last season and noticed a difference between what is required in the Premier League and at that level, but he believes it was a crucial learning curve in his development.

"It was more physical, in the Premier League you’re going to get players who are so good with the ball, but in League One it’s not just with the ball, it’s what you do without it as well," he said.

"It was a very good experience for me to go on loan and play a good amount of games.

"All these lads (at Burnley) have played consistent games when they were younger and look where they are now.

"If I can keep doing what I’m doing hopefully I’ll be at that stage at some point."

O'Neill spent last week with the Clarets at their training camp in Ireland and featured for 45 minutes in the 4-0 friendly win over Shamrock Rovers.

"It’s tough work, it always is but it’s good to get back into it," he said of the week at Carton House.

"Last year at Evian was my first experience of something like this.

"We’re always training with the first team but coming away with them is something different, you’re around them all the time, you see how they act off the pitch as well as on it.

"We don’t feel like we’re out of the squad, they make us feel part of it and part of what we’re trying to do here, which is great."