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RESERVE REVIEW

Posted on 23 June 2006  - 12:00

Clive Allen's reflections of the players that took us to the reserve league title last season...

Clive Allen's reflections of the players that took us to the reserve league title last season...

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...

Stephen Kelly: 'Steo' was heavily involved in the first team squad and deserved to get the call to the senior Irish squad. When he played for the reserves he was a consistent performer at a level that you would expect from a player like that. With his pace, power and level-headed approach, he’s a great example to the younger lads. He scored a couple of great goals as well.

Charlie Lee: For me, he’s one of the best headers of a ball in the club. He found the performances we were looking for, his passing was excellent and he showed his competitive side but the all-important thing was that he controlled it. That’s something we’ve talked about, he’s worked on it and he’s improved that side of his game. He also captained the side and deserved his medal. He played a big part in it.

Stuart Lewis: Another of the Academy boys that had the opportunity to perform in the reserve group and every time he featured he grew in confidence. He wanted to be part of the group and showed us what he’s capable of. He’s very competitive and gave us real bite in midfield. I’d like to think he enjoyed the experience and never let us down. He was consistent and that’s what you hope for.

Jacques Maghoma: He scored his first goal for us in the final league game. He probably hasn’t showed all his qualities but in glimpses we’ve seen what he’s capable of. He has a great turn of pace, touch and strength. He played in the play-off at Old Trafford and I’m sure he would have loved that and will come back raring to go.

Dean Marney: He had a horrendous season. He went out on loan to Norwich, was playing consistently in the Championship and then suffered a ruptured Achilles, a frightening injury for him. But we all saw the character he is – he worked really hard to get back and then played his part in closing out the title. He knew it was a bonus to get back before the end of the season and when he returned, he showed us what he’s all about. Full credit to him.