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Rollercoaster of emotions on Josh's journey

Posted on 31 July 2016  - 12:06

It was the afternoon of Thursday, July 21, in Mannheim, Germany, and Josh Onomah cut a disappointed figure.

Josh Onomah greets fans as he makes his way down the tunnel at our first game in Melbourne against JuventusHitting the crossbar against Atletico MadridIn action against Italy at the European Under-19 Championship in Germany prior to our trip Down Under

Along with club team-mate Kyle Walker-Peters, the young midfielder had just suffered European Under-19 Championship semi-final heartbreak at the hands of Italy.

Having breezed through the group stage, the Young Lions had high hopes in the knockout rounds but a 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Azzurri left Josh and his compatriots bitterly disappointed.


Then his phone rang. It was the club number. A few hours later, along with Kyle, he was on a plane bound for Australia and now, a little over a week later, he’s well and truly got his smile back after two positive performances against Juventus and Atletico Madrid during our pre-season tour of Melbourne.

Following Friday’s narrow 1-0 defeat to Atletico, Josh, who enjoyed his summer break prior to the Under-19 Euros, picked up the story: “I'm happy the gaffer brought me out here because me and Kyle were on international duty and we got the call after the last game and came straight here,” he explained.

“We’d got all the way to the semi-finals in Germany and it was very disappointing to miss out, but three hours later we got the call to tell us we were travelling out to Australia.

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“It meant a lot to get that call from the gaffer, showing he cares and wants me to develop, and I thank him a lot for that.”

Having featured in both our matches Down Under – and indeed gone close to opening the scoring against Atletico when he rattled the crossbar in the first half – Josh said the chance to play against such esteemed opponents came as a real boost to him.

“It's been a good test. I'm happy I got more minutes under my belt and played in such big games in pre-season,” he said. “We’ve played two top teams – the Italian champions and the Champions League finalists and I'm happy I got the minutes.

“I can feel myself improving, getting fitter, stronger and learning and that's the importance of being out here.”

After making 19 senior appearances for us last season, Josh is excited to see what 2016-17 will bring.

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“I look forward to working hard under the gaffer and hopefully this season I’ll look to achieve a lot of things,” he said. “That’s the thing with football, you can always set new goals no matter what you’ve achieved previously so obviously we’ll see where it goes from here.”

And having linked up with new boys Victor Wanyama and Vincent Janssen in Australia, Josh added: “They‘re very good signings. They’ve settled in really well, they’re good players to strengthen our squad and I look forward to hopefully working with them and also learning from them.”