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LADS FACE LILLE

Posted on 16 October 2007  - 12:00

We are taking Under-21 and Under-18 teams to France on Wednesday for special training matches against Lille.

We are taking Under-21 and Under-18 teams to France on Wednesday for special training matches against Lille.

It's the fourth time in the last year we've taken part in such matches during the season at both reserve and Academy levels - the Under-18s played Bayer Leverkusen before the seniors' UEFA Cup clash last December and the reserves have travelled to Lens and Sampdoria.

The difference this time is the fact we're taking two teams with the Under-18s kicking-off at 2pm local time (1pm UK) and the Under-21s at 4pm (3pm UK).

Development coach Clive Allen said: "The good thing is that we're taking the two teams and the experience, especially for the younger ones, will be invaluable.

"We've thoroughly enjoyed the trips to Lens and Sampdoria and we've found them beneficial not just in terms of the lads' football education, but simply travelling away as a group and everything that goes with that - how they prepare, how they conduct themselves, how they cope against different tactics and styles of play.

"The whole experience in Sampdoria was great. The pitch wasn't the best, it was a typical Italian team who defended strongly and I thought we acquitted ourselves very well.

"Lille have an outstanding set-up in terms of their Academy and they are pleased to welcome us. It will be a great opportunity for the lads to pit themselves against a very strong Academy in France and I'm sure it will be very rewarding for them."