Coach Clive's men won six games on the trot in October and November and lost successive matches only once on our way to fifth place in the Barclays Reserve League South.
Throughout this week, Clive has given his views on how 25 of the squad shaped up last term - the final installment follows tomorrow.
Dean Marney (12 appearances)
Clive Allen: "Martin asked me how well I felt he was doing and if he could go into the first team and the rest is history in terms of how played against Everton and his performance at Old Trafford. Dean progressed as an all-round professional footballer and he’s been rewarded with an extensionto his contract, which he deserved. You hope that these lads can go into the senior group and establish themselves and Dean has been an example to all the young lads who come into the Academy. He has a desire to do well for the club, it’s his club and he’s a role model for many young players here."
Kieran McKenna (17 apps)
Clive: "Kieran spoke to me a number of times and he wants to play, you can see that. He wants to play every day in training and every game that’s available to him. I know the senior staff have seen a lot of potential and that’s one of the reasons he was involved in the senior squad towards the end of the season. He’s one for the future."
Marcel McKie (21 apps)
Clive: "We’re retaining Marcel and he’s what you look for in a left-back — he has a lovely left foot and is a tremendous athlete. He had as many appearances as anyone in the reserves last season and he was consistent. His application was good, he improved and deserved the opportunity to stay on."
Leigh Mills (4 apps)
Clive: "He played the very first game of the season at Fulham. The club identified him as a young talent and brought him here from Swindon. It was a big move for him. He worked particularly well with the Academy group, had some outstanding performances in the Youth Cup and that’s always a good barometer to see how the youngsters are developing. When the situation arose that he came into the reserve group he showed more than anyone his potential. He was stretched and it was a big ask for him to play Fulham away, Derby away — where he was fantastic in a very difficult game — and Arsenal. He made a mistake against Arsenal, you can understand that, but we all saw how he recovered and played the rest of the game. It didn’t affect him and that was tremendous credit to him."
Paul O’Donoghue (17 apps, 1 goal)
Clive: "I thought Paul was fantastic throughout the season. What you got from him was a level of performance that you would like everyone to achieve because he never let you down. He had very few poor games, some tremendous battles and for me, no-one really got the better of him throughout the season. I can understand people therefore saying ‘why did the club release him’ but Paul for me will play at a certain level and that’s for him to find. I know people are interested in him and I give him credit for that. He’ll have a career for himself."
Clive Allen continues his assessment of his reserve squad's performances last season with a glowing report for Dean Marney.