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RESERVE REVIEW

Posted on 23 June 2006  - 12:00

Clive Allen's final batch of assessments of last season's title-winning reserve squad...

Clive Allen's final batch of assessments of last season's title-winning reserve squad...

Our reserve group marched to the Barclays Premier Reserve League South championship with a run of 16 wins in their last 18 matches to take the title by 12 points.

Here, Clive runs the rule over the players that made it happen...

Joe Martin: Another lad who stepped up from the Academy. A naturally left-sided player, we looked at him at left-back and on the left side of midfield. It’s nice we’ve got naturally left-sided player. He’s still developing and there is more to come in terms of his physique but he has a good touch on the ball and is an elegant footballer. He can also defend and whether or not he gets that from his dad (Alvin) I’m not sure. He has possibilities in a number of positions and has showed that last season.

Kieran McKenna: He had a difficult time with injury at the end of the season but in the first half he was a regular and so consistent, one of the fittest lads with great energy and enthusiasm. Allied to that I felt he improved himself technically and he worked hard on that. He thoroughly deserved to play such a big part in a title-winning season.

Marcel McKie: He was very unfortunate because of injury and that meant he never really got a consistent run. Physically he’s more than capable and again he showed that he’s versatile and can defend well. He’s one of those lads who never causes problems and is always a fantastic trainer. He’s brave, strong, quick and has a great left foot and I wish him well.

Jamie O’Hara: Jamie was very impressive around November time last year and I felt that was his turning point. He came back for pre-season in great condition but physically he still had a little developing to do and that came in November and December. That meant he was more consistent and that attracted the attention of league clubs to take him on loan. We spoke with him over Christmas and he felt he needed senior football, Chesterfield took him on loan and from what I saw and the reports we got he played particularly well. It was the right step for him and he’s developed into a strong left-sided midfielder. He will be relishing the chance to come back here with that experience under his belt because I felt he dramatically improved using the loan system.

Andy Reid: I remember after the game against West Ham in October saying he was simply unplayable because he showed everything that night. We talk about the attitude of players and although he didn’t play that many games for us, when he did play it was exactly what you want from a senior player. He showed what he was capable of and some of it was sensational.