Date: 20th May 2008 at 3:47pm
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Stephen O’Halloran is looking to bounce back from last seasons nightmare and push Freddy Bouma for the first team shirt next season.

The 20 year old Republic of Ireland international can’t help but view last season as a ‘wasted year’ given the failed loan spell at Southampton and then when things looked up and he travelled to Leeds, he suffered a cruciate ligament injury.

Speaking on the official site, O’Halloran is determined to make an impact next season though and no doubt, would love to get a little taste of European football.

‘I’ve got a lot of hard work ahead of me throughout the summer but I’m not on my own and I’ll just get on with it.

‘Curtis Davies and Jonathan Hogg are also coming back from long term injuries and so we’re bouncing off each other – which is helpful.

‘This season was a bit of a letdown for me. I went on the pre-season tour to Canada and America and my aim was to force my way into the first-team squad.

‘That didn’t happen and I had a couple of disappointing loan spells – I didn’t play at Southampton and I got injured before I could kick a ball with Leeds.’

That’s the downside of bouncing off other players, everynow and then you fall harder than you expected and end up injured.

‘I know that these things happen to you in your career and I have to stay strong and determined. I’m still young and I’ve got years ahead of me.

‘It can get you down coming in just to work in the gym or in the pool each day but I have a target and when I am back in action I’m determined to make up for lost time.’

Bouma has done well this season given the fact he knew he would pretty much be an ever present, so from even a competition outlook having O’Halloran fighting fit would serve us well.