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VIAREGGIO ROUND-UP

Posted on 5 February 2008  - 12:00

Clive Allen feels the experience gained from the Viareggio tournament will stand our development squad in good stead.

Clive Allen feels the experience gained from the Viareggio tournament will stand our development squad in good stead.The lads bowed out at the group stage of the 48-team event in Italy after crucially losing their second match of three in the final seconds against Cisco Roma on Thursday.

But Clive drew nothing but positives from the first and third matches - a 3-3 draw in the televised opening game of the tournament against reigning champions Genoa and a 9-0 thumping of Australian side APIA before returning home.

“It was a fantastic exercise and ideal in terms of the lads’ football education,” reported Clive. “It gave a real insight into what tournament play is all about and pitting yourselves against foreign opposition.

“If we want to develop players so they can compete on the European stage both domestically and internationally then this tournament is as good as it gets at this stage of their development.

“Losing to Cisco Roma in the last minute really cost us in terms of progressing but the Italians told us that the 3-3 draw against Genoa was as good an opening game as they’ve seen and we then played some first-class football against APIA.”

Ryan Mason led the scoring in the 9-0 win against APIA with Takura Mtandari (2), Jon Obika, David Hutton, Cian Hughton and Simon Dawkins also on target.

Team v Cisco Roma: Button, Hutchins, Berchiche, Martin, C Butcher, Cox (Kasim, 57), Livermore, Dawkins (Mason, 57), Pekhart, Fraser-Allen, Obika (Hutton, 76).

Team v APIA: Jansson, Hughton, Martin, Hutton, Rose (Hutchins, 73), Kasim, Fraser-Allen (Dawkins, 45), Dervite (Livermore, 45), Mason, Obika, Mtandari.