Author Topic: Saturday Fulham Stuff (22/05/10)...  (Read 2602 times)

Offline whitejc

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Saturday Fulham Stuff (22/05/10)...
« on: May 22, 2010, 07:23:52 AM »
http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/May/EuropeanEndeavours.aspx?
European Endeavours



The 2009/10 campaign will live long in the memory of all Fulham fans - the Whites made Club history in reaching the Final of the inaugural UEFA Europa League, beating the likes of Shakhtar Donetsk, Juventus, Wolfsburg and Hamburg in a cup run that stretched back to July 2009.

Along with their European exploits Roy Hodgson's men also reached the quarter-final of the FA Cup and maintained their place in the Barclays Premier League for yet another season. 

Looking back on the season, defender Aaron Hughes was certainly pleased with the Team's achievements, as he told fulhamfc.com.

"When you look at the amount of games we played and some of the teams we came up against, we coped pretty well," he said. "Over course of the season you'll always get some games where you'll feel that you could have done a little bit better. But there were also games where we exceeded expectations - some of the European games were a good example of that.

"Overall I think it was another good, solid campaign. We did what we set out to do, which was to make sure we're still playing Premier League football next year - that's always got to be the main goal. We juggled the demands of European competition and adapted well to that."

Whilst a series of impressive results in the knockout stages of the Europa League grabbed the headlines, Fulham were pushed all the way in the group stage, needing a dramatic final game win over Basel at St. Jacob Park to reach the final 32.

"Everyone thinks of the games against Shakhtar, Juventus, Wolfsburg and Hamburg but we still had to get out of the group stage and that wasn't easy," Hughes explained. "Basel were no pushovers and Sofia gave us two tough games - then you've obviously got Roma in there.

"I think over the course of the whole campaign, the one thing that stuck out was the fact that we just played our own football. No one can say that we had any help from referees or had any extra luck in games that we didn't deserve. Everything we achieved, we worked hard for and fully deserved.

"Even after the first leg of the Juventus game, a lot of teams could have just thought 'right, we're finished; we'll just go out and give it a shot'. But even though we were 3-1 down after the first leg, we didn't really see anything out there that frightened us.

"We conceded three bad goals in Italy but apart from that, there was nothing that we were really disappointed about. We played well out there so we thought that if we could get them at the Cottage and not conceded bad goals, there would be no reason why we couldn't score a few goals ourselves.  That proved to be the case so we've always believed in what we've done, believed in our own ability and in our style of play. That's what got us our success."



Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/May/EuropeanEndeavours.aspx?#ixzz0odY3MFSg

Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (22/05/10)...
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2010, 07:25:11 AM »
http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=199376
Fulham - Our Best Signing 2009/2010?
Back in the early days of 2009/2010 I was one of those who questioned the signing of Damien Duff.

Having been part of the relegated Newcastle side, in fact the very player who`s own goal got them relegated on that dramatic last day of the season, at Villa Park, I thought he was injury prone and to be honest, shot.

I couldn`t have been more wrong!

Duff has been a delight this season, sure he`s had a few injury problems - but haven`t they all?

Duff, in my opinion, is one of the candidates for 'Player of the Season` and it`s yet another tribute to Roy Hodgson that he recognised, having also worked with Duff at Blackburn previously, that Duff was different to others he`d worked with, or as Roy is quoted as saying on the official site,

"He`s [Duff] been outstanding and he`s a very, very good player," Hodgson told fulhamfc.com.

"I`m sure when the annals of Irish football history are written, and there have been some good players over the years, Damien`s going to be right up there with them.

'If he wanted serious money he`d of stayed at Newcastle and seen his contract out. He came here to play football and that`s what he`s done.

"Knowing the person, knowing his character and knowing his reasons for wanting to leave Newcastle and come here - to play football. It was, quite frankly, 'I`ll come to Fulham and earn less, because that`s where I want to play my football.`

"That is very, very rare in football terms and it`s the mark of the man and his character. He has an unbelievable desire to play football. Damien will always play football, god willing that his legs keep going. I can imagine Damien playing at the age of 50, just for the fun of it, because he`s a football man."

We`re not sure Damien will be still pulling on the splendid top of Fulham but we get your drift Roy.


Read more: http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=199376#ixzz0odYJWIxn

Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (22/05/10)...
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2010, 07:26:42 AM »
http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=199378
Fulham - And Your Winner Is?
Our poll this week has been solely used to find out who you, the Vital Fulham membership, believe deserved the ultimate accolade last season.

We`ve used it to allow you to vote for who you believe was the best player last season.

We`ve had a resounding winner with Bobby Zamora getting 44% of the vote.

Now we intend to move on and ask you to vote for who you believe should be runner-up to Bobby, so take it away folks, cast your votes!


Read more: http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=199378#ixzz0odYhHF1b


Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (22/05/10)...
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2010, 07:28:27 AM »
http://www.ealinggazette.co.uk/sport/football-ealing/fulham-fc-ealing/2010/05/21/fulham-star-raring-to-go-after-injury-ravaged-campaign-64767-26487281/?
Fulham star raring to go after injury-ravaged campaign

ULHAM star Clint Dempsey reckons the misery of being injured twice in a World Cup year has been a blessing in disguise.
The American forward has suffered his worst campaign for injuries since he arrived in west London three years ago - but insists he is now fitter than ever.

What’s more, the Texas talent is ready to inflict damage on England’s World Cup hopes when the two meet in Rustenberg, South Africa, on June 12 in Group C’s opening match.

While other Premiership stars in the World Cup have been flogging away through a hard winter, Dempsey has at least had a chance to recharge the batteries after a gruelling qualifying campaign last summer.

He said: "I have to look at my time out in a positive light.

“It gave me a chance to step back from the game and reflect on things, and see what I can improve.
“I was able to hit the gym a little bit, which kept me busy. All in all, it’s been a good experience and made me more hungry."

Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (22/05/10)...
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2010, 07:29:53 AM »
http://www.teamtalk.com/fulham/6166823/Hughes-reflects-on-Europa-nights?
Hughes reflects on Europa nights

Fulham defender Aaron Hughes says the players' belief in their own ability was the key to their incredible run to the Europa League final.

The Cottagers played 18 European fixtures on their way to Hamburg, only to agonisingly fall at the last hurdle against Atletico Madrid.

But Northern Ireland international Hughes knows the positives far outweigh the negatives when he looks back on the season just finished.

In particular, Hughes recalls the tense Group E clash against Basel at St Jakob-Park in mid-December - a match which the visitors won 3-2 to snatch second place and progress at the expense of their Swiss rivals.

Hughes told the club's official website: "Everyone thinks of the games against Shakhtar, Juventus, Wolfsburg and Hamburg but we still had to get out of the group stage and that wasn't easy.

"Basel were no pushovers and Sofia gave us two tough games (a 1-1 draw in Bulgaria and a 1-0 win at Craven Cottage) - then you've obviously got Roma in there.

"I think over the course of the whole campaign, the one thing that stuck out was the fact that we just played our own football. No one can say that we had any help from referees or had any extra luck in games that we didn't deserve. Everything we achieved, we worked hard for and fully deserved.

"Even after the first leg of the Juventus game, a lot of teams could have just thought 'right, we're finished; we'll just go out and give it a shot'. But even though we were 3-1 down after the first leg, we didn't really see anything out there that frightened us.

"We conceded three bad goals in Italy but apart from that, there was nothing that we were really disappointed about. We played well out there so we thought that if we could get them at the Cottage and not concede bad goals, there would be no reason why we couldn't score a few goals ourselves.

"That proved to be the case so we've always believed in what we've done, believed in our own ability and in our style of play. That's what got us our success."

Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (22/05/10)...
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2010, 07:34:04 AM »
http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/football/3727975/Socceroos-goalkeeper-Schwarzer-in-doubt
Socceroos goalkeeper Schwarzer in doubt

First-choice Socceroo goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer could be in doubt for Monday night's friendly World Cup farewell game against New Zealand after injuring a thumb in training on Thursday.

The Fulham shot-stopper is not expected to train today as the coaching staff give him every chance to recover in time for Monday's MCG fixture.

If the veteran cannot take his place in the team then Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici could be in line to make his debut for the national team.

Another alternative would be Brad Jones, so long Schwarzer's understudy at Middlesbrough and now one of his deputies in the World Cup squad.


Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (22/05/10)...
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2010, 07:35:39 AM »
http://www.tribalfootball.com/fulham-striker-kamara-would-take-psg-over-celtic-855871
Fulham striker Kamara would take PSG over Celtic

Fulham striker Diomansy Kamara says he may turn down the chance to return to Celtic next season in favour of joining Paris Saint-Germain.

Celtic want Kamara to turn his six-month stint at Parkhead into a permanent deal but are reluctant to meet Fulham’s £2.5 million buy-out option in his loan contract.

That expires at the end of the month and with both Paris Saint-Germain and Bordeaux prepared to sign the Senegalese international for his full £3.8m fee, Kamara, right, is likely to have played his last game for Celtic. He said: “France would be a good option.

Paris Saint-Germain would be a dream for me. When you start in football you always have dreams. One of mine was to play for Senegal and I have done that for almost 10 years now. Another would be PSG. It’s something that is close to my heart and to go from watching in the stands to the pitch, knowing all my family were watching, would be a nice feeling.

“Everything went well [at Celtic], I played a dozen matches and scored four goals. Celtic Park is incredible. They call it Paradise and you can see why. I played in the derby there and it was something else, it was an incredible experience.

“But in all honesty, the level of Scottish football is average. Two or three clubs aren’t too bad. But I’m still under contract at Fulham and I am going to take my time to decide where I will be next year."

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (22/05/10)...
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2010, 07:37:23 AM »
http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/sport/2010/05/22/1248047aa7e5
Socceroo Schwarzer may miss All Whites friendly

The veteran Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer has a thumb strain and is in doubt for Monday's football World Cup friendly against New Zealand.

Schwarzer injured the thumb in training on Thursday.

The All Whites coach Ricki Herbert's expecting a big crowd at the MCG with both nations heading to the Cup.
Herbert says it's great it's not just a send-off for the Australians and his charges are looking forward to the game.
Herbert says it's been a long time - probably too long - since the All Whites last played the Socceroos.

That was back in 2005 in another friendly, a 1-0 loss at Fulham's home ground, Craven Cottage, in London.

The All Whites depart this afternoon for their four-match build-up programme ahead of the tournament in South Africa.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (22/05/10)...
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2010, 07:39:47 AM »
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1169764/index.htm
A Gringo's Game
He blends Latino creativity with European discipline—and even more important, Clint Dempsey "tries s---." Could the hard-edged, risk-taking Texan come to embody (finally) the American way to play?

The man wore crocodile boots, a white cowboy hat and a belt buckle the size of a license plate. Clint Dempsey doesn't remember his full name—hell, nobody in Nacogdoches, Texas, does—but you couldn't miss him on the sidelines of Nac-town's Mexican League games, amid the cigar smoke and the fajita carts and the horchata peddlers. He was the guy betting cash money on the cocky 15-year-old gringo to beat men more than twice his age, proud men from Mexico and El Salvador who'd throw you to the East Texas dirt for trying a fancy move on them. Sixty, eighty, one hundred dollars! The man kept wagering, and Dempsey's team, Zamora, kept winning. "He called me," says Dempsey, "his Little Rooster."

Years before he would score in the World Cup for the U.S., the Little Rooster swallowed his fear, unleashing all the tricks he'd seen in his Diego Maradona highlight videos and noodled on in his grandma's backyard with his older brother, Ryan. Stepovers, nutmegs, dipsy-dos: The Little Rooster had everything, even moves without names, moves nobody had seen before. Childhood friend Frankie Rivera recalls one Mexican League game when Dempsey "did some kind of weird trick—it was so awesome—and the guy got mad and spit in his face. Clint just went at him. He had three guys trying to fight him, but he did good. He did good."

And when the Little Rooster scored goals, he wouldn't hold back on his foes. "He'd run around to the faces of all of them," says Dempsey's mother, Debbie.

"They'd be so mad," says his father, Aubrey. "They'd scream and holler."

Says Dempsey, "I'm surprised I didn't get stabbed out there."

When Clinton Drew Dempsey, the U.S.'s most inventive and unpredictable soccer player, joined the national team in 2004, then coach Bruce Arena summarized his primary asset in three words: "He tries s---." It's an approach common in Latin America, where kids often learn the game on the streets, and rare among U.S. players, who are channeled into organized soccer from an early age. Dempsey's style is self-taught, intuitive, like a jazzman's. "It's a little bit of Pete Maravich," says U.S. coach Bob Bradley. "Clint's capable of making an attacking play that's a little different, that can create an advantage, that can lead to a goal. To have a player who can come up with something different at the right time, that's still such a special part of soccer."

As it happened, Bradley was in the stands at London's Craven Cottage on March 18 when Dempsey delivered his version of Thelonious Monk's Straight, No Chaser. In the final minutes of a Europa League round of 16 game against Italy's mighty Juventus, Dempsey's Fulham needed a goal to complete a remarkable four-goal comeback and advance. Stationed just outside the penalty box, Dempsey received a pass with his back to the goal and took two touches while moving to the right, creating a pocket of space. Still, it wasn't a dangerous position. Dempsey was facing the sideline, with the Juventus goal 20 yards away over his left shoulder. His defender was closing, and his momentum—like that of a quarterback scrambling to his right—would prevent him from putting much force behind a shot.

"Something told me just to go for it. What do you have to lose?" says Dempsey. "When you come on as a substitute, you have to take shots. Otherwise why are you playing in the game?" Ruling out a near-post attempt, Dempsey hit an audaciously delicate, no-look chip to the far post. "I knew where the goal was, because when I'm looking at the ball you can see the side of the goal," Dempsey says. "I didn't know the keeper was out. I just hoped he was off his line. Lucky for me, he was."

With his right foot Dempsey clipped the ball like a Phil Mickelson lob wedge. "If you know Clint, you know what he's trying," says Bradley, who rose from his seat, "and now the ball is sort of sitting up there for a second." Time froze. Dempsey compares the feeling to the one you get when you've released a bowling ball and think you can still control it with your body language before it hits the pins. Goalkeeper Antonio Chimenti could only look skyward and hope the ball sailed over the crossbar. But slowly, slowly, slowly, it fell into the net, with the softness of a baby's breath.

Bedlam. "There's no better feeling than getting crunk after scoring an important goal," says Dempsey, whose celebration with his teammates and fans practically tore the roof off the old barn. Fulham would advance to the Europa League final, the biggest accomplishment in the club's 131-year history, but the goose-bump moment will always be Dempsey's strike—the finest big-game goal ever scored by an American in European club soccer. "It's not just that not many American players would have tried to do that," says Sunil Gulati, the president of U.S. Soccer. "Not many players outside of South America would have even thought about it."

And therein lies a riddle: As the U.S. develops as a soccer nation, where do skills like Dempsey's fit in the big picture of a country known less for its soccer technique than for athleticism, effort and speed?

If a country's soccer style embodies the nation's aspirations, its strengths and its component groups, then the U.S. "hasn't found yet its real identity," says Jürgen Klinsmann, the former German star who has lived in California for most of the past decade and nearly took the U.S. coaching job in 2006. "I'm talking about a philosophy, a style of play, that marks every nation." For Klinsmann, the question is simple: What style should represent American soccer?

Yet others don't think the questions—or the answers—are so easy. For one thing, the U.S. is still a young soccer country compared with the giants of the footballing world. Major League Soccer is in just its 15th season, and the U.S. only returned to the World Cup in 1990, after a 40 year absence. What's more, U.S. demographics are changing rapidly, not least in the skyrocketing growth of the largely soccer-loving Hispanic community. One third or more of MLS's fans are Latinos, and it should come as no surprise that the U.S. television rights for World Cups 2010 and '14 sold for far more to Spanish-language Univision ($325 million) than to English-language ESPN/ABC ($100 million).

For years the U.S. Soccer Federation drew criticism for failing to cultivate the Hispanic community or to include more Mexican-American players in its national teams and development initiatives. But the landscape appears to be changing. One prominent example is José (el Gringo) Torres, a 22-year-old creative midfielder who grew up in Longview, Texas, just an hour away from Dempsey. Torres, who plays professionally for Mexican power Pachuca, chose to compete internationally for the U.S. (his mother's country) rather than Mexico (his father's). He's among the 30 players in the U.S. World Cup camp this week and is a good bet to make the final 23-man squad. More such players are in the pipeline.

For Gulati, a Columbia economics professor who was recently elected to his second term as USSF president, U.S. style won't be a choice so much as an evolution. "We've got elements of European soccer in our teaching and elements of Latin soccer in our playing, primarily at youth levels," says Gulati. "That's all still being shaped, and I don't think that's a decision that gets made by an individual. That comes over time."

Gulati himself prefers the attractive Latin style, which values technique, short passing and creativity. He has hired Wilmer Cabrera, a former Colombian international, as the men's under-17 coach, and last month he tapped former U.S. star Claudio Reyna as the federation's new youth technical director. Reyna, who speaks English, Spanish and German, will be in charge of producing a sort of national education policy for the coaches of millions of young American soccer players.

The 2010 World Cup offers the U.S. a rare chance to show how far it has come as a soccer nation, including in the sophistication of its playing style. Still, winning is what matters most. The U.S. isn't Brazil or Spain, after all, and Bradley knows his team's performance will be measured not by style points but by how far it advances. In fact Bradley's definition of style has little to do with notions of national identity. What he calls "the modern game" is about tactics and matchups, whether you're the U.S. or Brazil or Spain.

"A style anywhere takes into account the qualities of the players—the strengths and the weaknesses—and on any given day what the game will be like," says Bradley. "For us to play at the highest level, there has to be a collective idea of how the ball can be moved around, how you can make sure that your more talented and creative players are getting the ball in situations that allow them to make the plays that make a difference. When the ball turns over on the international level, what's necessary as a team is to stop the other team and win the ball back. You're trying to build on all of those qualities and put them to the test of playing against the best teams."

That may not sound sexy, but it's intended to produce results. And if in South Africa next month the U.S. can repeat performances like last year's 2--0 upset of Spain, neither Bradley nor his boss will complain. "In the end, we need a style that is conducive to winning," says Gulati. "I don't want to play brilliantly, look good and come up short every time. That doesn't do us any good."

Clint Dempsey defines himself as a risk taker. An avid bass fisherman, he'll happily cast into a tree-shaded shoreline if he thinks it gives him a better chance of landing a fish. "Sometimes I get my line stuck in the tree and have to break it," he says. "But sometimes those casts pay off and you catch a fish." He plays soccer much the same way. That goal he scored against Juventus? "If I went for it 18 times, it would only go in once," Dempsey admits. Indeed, when his risky moves don't come off, it can look ugly. That's part of the package that comes with Dempsey's capacity for brilliance.

Finding the right balance between risk and safety has been an ongoing process. The push and pull between Dempsey and Bradley is among the most fascinating relationships in U.S. soccer, not least because it combines mutual respect and occasional open disagreement. After Dempsey and the U.S. struggled in losses to Italy and Brazil at last summer's Confederations Cup, Bradley arranged a private meeting with Dempsey and the coaching staff. "What's going on?" Dempsey says Bradley asked. "Why are we not able to get the best out of the team and the best out of you?"

"I just feel in the attacking third we lose ideas and aren't playing with confidence," Dempsey replied. "You have to take risks."

It was a long talk. "There were some things we threw at him, and he throws just as much back," says Bradley. "It's not so much about the specifics as about putting it all on the table. You could tell by the next day he had a good frame of mind." Dempsey showed it on the field too. In the next game he scored the decisive goal against Egypt that sent the U.S. to the semifinals, and he followed that up with a goal each against Spain and Brazil, the world's top two teams. Ultimately Dempsey would be named the third best player in the tournament.

The lesson was a useful one: Dempsey's unpredictable style can fit on this U.S. team. He tries s---. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. But if the Americans are going to make an impact in South Africa next month—and beyond that, to climb into the ranks of true soccer nations—they'll need a healthy dose of the Little Rooster's style.


Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (22/05/10)...
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2010, 03:38:56 PM »
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11661_6167385,00.html
Kamara picturing PSG move
On-loan striker wants asking price lowered

Diomansy Kamara may be set to reject a permanent transfer to Celtic in favour of a move to boyhood club Paris St Germain.

The Senegalese striker, who moved to Parkhead on a six-month loan from Fulham in January, is wanted by the Hoops, however, they are struggling to afford the £2.5million buyout clause in his contract.

Bordeaux and PSG are rumoured to be waiting in the wings and willing to pay the Cottagers' asking price for the 29-year-old, although he is set to talk to Fulham about lowering their asking price.

Despite being born in the French capital, Kamara has never played in the French top division, moving away from his Parisian roots at Red Star 93 to Italy and England.

"PSG would be a dream for me. When you start football you always have dreams," said Kamara.

"One of mine was to play for Senegal and I have done that for almost ten years now, another would be PSG.

"It's close to my heart and to go from being in the stands to the pitch, with my family watching, would be a nice feeling.

"I'm 29 and I haven't yet played in Ligue 1 so it would nice to experience that."

Too much
Kamara was quick to pay tribute to both Celtic and Fulham, stating that he has enjoyed his time playing in Scotland, as well as stressing his good relations with Fulham boss Roy Hodgson and the board.

"I have just spent six months at Celtic, a huge club. Everything went well; I played a dozen games and scored four goals," he said.

"But I am still under contract at Fulham and I am going to take my time to decide where I go next.

"I still have good relations with the club but they are asking for three or four million Euros to sell me and for a player with one year left on his contract it's too high."

Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (22/05/10)...
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2010, 03:40:07 PM »
http://www.westerntelegraph.co.uk/sport/8173534.Heartbreak_for_superb_Simon/
Heartbreak for superb Simon

Solva’s Simon Davies scored in the Europa League final in Hamburg, Germany, last week in front of almost 50,000 football fans.

The Fulham man of the match and midfielder executed a fantastic 36th minute equaliser.

He sweetly struck a right-footed volley into the bottom corner against stunned Atletico Madrid at the Nordbank arena, ensuring last Wednesday’s final went into extra time.

However, less than five minutes before the end of extra time and penalties Diego Forlan’s second goal on the night ended Fulham’s dream of European glory.

Davies told the Western Telegraph: "It was a great occasion and a fantastic atmosphere to be a part of."

He admitted it was difficult to be proud of his goal after such an agonising defeat.

"One day it will be good to look back and think how great it was to score in the final of a European competition but at the moment it is not enough to counter the overwhelming sense of disappointment," he added.

The 30-year-old Premier-ship star ended the season with a fantastic run also scoring in his teams historic win over Hamburg at Craven Cottage in the semi-final. After enjoying such a memorable run to reach the final Davies and his team-mates had to settle with runners-up medals on the night.