Delfouneso 'raring to go'
Aston Villa's Nathan Delfouneso says playing in the Euro U19 tournament has left him ready for action.
Last Updated: 31/07/10 5:24pm
Aston Villa striker Nathan Delfouneso says playing in England's Euro U19 campaign has left him ready for action.
The 19-year-old, who has joined up with Villa in Portugal ahead of the new Premier League season, says he has learned crucial lessons from the "ups and downs" of the tournament, where England lost to Spain in the semi-finals.
And he feels participating has given his fitness a timely boost ahead of Villa's impending campaign.
"Playing in the tournament did help a lot," Delfouneso told Villa's official website.
"It was lots of ups and downs and a lot of things I can learn from as well - on an individual level and with other teams too. It was good experience for me and I'm sure all the lads who competed in the competition thought the same.
"I feel fit - I feel match fit. I feel good, I feel sharp, I feel good about myself and I'm raring to go.
"I want to go in and settle in nicely, join in, and enjoy the trip and get ready for the season to come.
"I am happy to be here and ready to go. I now want to stake my claim and get ready to play for Villa again after a hard tournament."
Delfouneso believes spending time with Martin O'Neill's senior players on Villa's pre-season trip to the Algarve will benefit the less experienced members of the squad.
"When you're a youngster and you're going on trips with the first team, it's great. It's something you strive to do - be involved with the senior squad," he said.
"It will be good for all of us (the young lads) to be here and involved with the real quality players we have at the club. It's going to be good."
Delfouneso is keen to secure a spot in the first team at Villa Park by working hard this season.
"I feel I am just going to keep progressing as a player. We're all looking to break into the team and it can really help being team-mates here together," he added.
"But it's down to the individual too - keep working hard, do your own thing and make sure you are doing your job.
"Whatever opportunity we get given, it's important we try and take it and go from there. But it's still a learning curve - we're still young, we're still trying to progress and learn.
"That's all we can do and hopefully we'll be able to break in."