’I deadest thought there was going to be a fight’: O’Neill reveals ‘nerve-wracking’ Pohang initiation
Most players begin life at a new club with a traditional sing-song initiation but not Brandon O’Neill, whose first day at Pohang Steelers began in a much different way.
Speaking with former Sydney FC teammate Andrew Redmayne on an Instagram Live, O’Neill revealed the bizarre moment he first met his teammates at a preseason camp in Thailand.
‘’When I arrived in Thailand for preseason, I met the coach but didn’t meet any of the players,’’ O’Neill recalled.
‘’I was told be ready for the morning walk at 7:50am and as I was walking out for it, I noticed that all the players were standing in a circle already.’’
Confused about the situation, O’Neill thought he must have been late for the walk but that was not the case.
‘’I've walked over and the foreign striker was in the middle holding one of the little Korean chaps by the scruff of the neck,’’ he remembered.
‘’As I've walked in, the striker said ‘Brandon come here, I need to teach him that us foreigners aren't to be messed with’.
Little did he know that it everyone was in on the joke and it was all one big setup.
‘’I deadest thought there was going to be a fight,’’ he said.
‘’When our striker finally dropped the Korean lad, they started pushing each other so I stepped in to break it up because I thought one of them was going to start swinging.
‘’I've walked in to stop it and everyone just fell on the floor and started laughing.
‘’It had all been set up as an initiation because I was the new person to enter the team.
‘’Honestly, I went white as a ghost and I was ready to run out of the place; I would have preferred to sing.’’
But instead of running for the hills, O'Neill stuck around and in recent weeks, the Socceroos midfielder has begun to shine for his new club.
The Steelers currently sit fourth on the K League ladder and are tipped to finish in a prominent position.
The move to Korea was the realisation of a lifelong dream for the former Hyundai A-League champion and although he admits to missing the family environment that the Sky Blues have created, he's keen to make the most of his time abroad.