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John's delight at Academy's Eurofoot display

Posted on 6 August 2013  - 10:35

John McDermott was delighted with our Academy squad’s attitude and application on their way to third place in the Eurofoot Tournament.

John McDermottConnor OgilvieAlex McQueenFilip Lesniak

Having qualified for the semi-finals without conceding a goal in five group matches, the lads lost a penalty shoot-out against West Ham before recovering to take third with a 2-0 win over Anderlecht.

Danish side FC Nordsjaelland – a team the lads hammered 4-0 in the group stages – went on to beat West Ham in the final.

Academy Manager John reported: “The Eurofoot is an incredibly tough tournament, a really good pre-season session for us with two games on the Friday, three on the Saturday and if you qualify for the semi-finals, another two on Sunday.

“In terms of preparation, it’s ideal and it’s a real test of character and ability. It ticks a lot of boxes.

“In terms of how we did, we suffered a couple of unfortunate injuries early on, Joe Pritchard and Luke Campbell-Young, so we were down to 14 outfield players and that increased the load on the other players, so I was really pleased with how we dealt with that physically.

 “We had five clean sheets in a row, fantastic, but we were a little hit and miss in front of goal and that proved our downfall in the end.

“We had two Under-16 central defenders (Cameron Carter-Vickers, Chris Maghoma) who I was pleased with, Filip Lesniak and Alex McQueen had outstanding tournaments, Luke McGee was goalkeeper of the tournament, so they were all positives.

“We ended up losing to West Ham in what turned out to be a bizarre penalty shoot-out as Harry Voss dislocated his shoulder, we’d made four substitutions, so Connor Ogilvie had to go in goal. He did his best, but that tipped the scales West Ham’s way and we lost 5-4. Harry was okay, the shoulder popped back in and he was in and out of hospital inside two hours.

“That loss was a real downer, but I thought we showed real resilience to come back and win the third/fourth play-off game against Anderlecht, a very good technical side.

“Overall, it was an excellent tournament for us and just a shame that the smaller margins went against us. Hopefully, it will strengthen us for the start of the season.”