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Philliskirk Reviews Prague Trip

U18s head coach Tony Philliskirk believes his group have learnt a lot in the Czech Republic

31 July 2019

Tony Philliskirk believes his squad have learnt a lot during the CEE Cup and will benefit from the challenging week in the Czech Republic

The youth team landed in Prague last Tuesday and have spent the last eight days either training or playing in the CEE Cup.

And despite the Clarets finishing last in the tournament, Philliskirk states that himself and the squad can take plenty of positives out of the trip.

The former Burnley striker said: “I think If you just look at it purely from a football perspective, it hasn’t been great.

We came last in the tournament, but there has been so many extenuating circumstances within that.

Obviously, the weather being one and for the lads to be training and playing in high 30’s every day.


I’m not making any excuses here, we are the youngest team here by far, it is just our fourth week of pre-season, where as a lot of the other teams in the cup are midway through their respective seasons.

The standard is very good, there is some top teams out here, so you then start to swing away from the fact we lost three games and drew the other.

And you start to take the positives out of them games and the trip, I mean the margins of errors in the games are unbelievable.

We have done all the analysis pre and post-match, the first game we were 1-0 down to our own mistake, then we have a red card and I am not saying we would of won that game, as in my opinion Palmeiras are the best team in the tournament and have showed that with four wins out of four and 14 goals scored.

But it just certainly wasn’t a 3-0 game, then the other two games we lose 1-0 and the goals we conceded are from when we have been in possession, we gave cheap possession away and it’s resulted in the opposition scoring and going onto win.

I think we could have been a lot better going forward, our play in the final third wasn’t great, but I cannot fault the lads’ efforts and hard work."

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The U18s reported back to pre-season training just four weeks ago, and Philliskirk's side had 11 new faces, as a new group of first year scholars joined the squad.

And the youth team boss admits he has learnt a lot from his squad in the past week and that the aim to get 160 minutes of football for each player was reached.

"I think we just have to keep reminding ourselves we came here for a pre-season trip, with two separate teams that are mixed, neither was the stronger side they were both mixed on ability.

The purpose it served was to get minutes under the belt for the boys equally and that purpose has been served.

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So, in that respect you can say it has been quite successful, although the results don’t say that from a coaching point of view, I think the lads have learnt a lot and so have I about the new group.

I am really taking out lots of positives from the trip, when you put things into perspective, we are three weeks into pre-season trying to get the lads all fit and ready for the first game next weekend." Said Philliskirk. 

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