Club News

Fletcher joins praise for youngsters

Baggies kids impress as Austria trip closes

ALBION'S young players continue to raise their profile at the club after their prominent role in the pre-season trip to Austria.

The Baggies brought down the curtain on their week-long fitness camp with a 90-minute work-out against Paris St Germain in the remote Austrian location of Schladming.

Albion went down 2-1 but of greater significance was the number of young players given invaluable experience at the end of what was for many their first taste of the intensity of first team training.

With none younger than 16-year-old Kane Wilson, who played the second half of a game in which Head Coach Tony Pulis utilised 20 players, Albion returned content with the success of a trip which acts as a foundation for the work ahead.

Captain Darren Fletcher said: “It’s about getting the minutes and work into your legs in the early stages.

“We have been working really hard, running and cycling up hills, so everyone’s legs are really heavy, then you go out onto a pitch like that and play against a top-class side.

“But I thought we competed and showed good signs, especially the young players.

“We’ve got a really good group now, and I think we can be satisfied with our performance.”

Albion succumbed to two second-half goals as Pulis gave his young players a taste of the action but Fletcher stressed: “They were really difficult opponents, but considering how we were feeling going into the game, I thought we did really well in terrible conditions.

“It’s unfortunate we couldn’t hold on to the 1-0 lead but the manager said before the game it was all about fitness and our legs were very heavy.

“We were up at 5.30 in the morning training so it wasn’t normal preparation, but the ultimate aim is to be ready for the start of the Premier League season."