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Match Reports

Dove: Players will learn from final loss

29 April 2015

Mike Dove believes his young Dons can benefit from their Youth Alliance Cup final defeat to Oldham Athletic.

The Under-18s, who won the southern section with a 2-1 triumph over Cheltenham Town, travelled to the Park on Monday night for the national final, where they were beaten 4-0 by an impressive Latics side.

“We’ve got a changing room full of boys that are very flat and down and I’ve told them to reflect on that,” Dove told MK Dons Player straight after the final whistle.

“It was good learning opportunity for them to stand and watch another team lift a trophy they could have won. As much as we wanted to be on the winning side, it’s valuable for the players and maybe we can learn more in defeat.”

He continued: “All credit to Oldham because collectively they were brilliant. They made it difficult for us to play and we didn’t cope too well with that - we didn’t have any real conviction.

“I thought we were bright in patches but on the day, it just wasn’t to be.”

Despite defeat in the national final, it has still been a terrific season for Dove and his potential stars of the future, who finished second in their Youth Alliance League campaign and also reached the third round of the FA Youth Cup.

“This year we won the southern section (of the Youth Alliance Cup) and came second in the league. We’ve also had three professional footballers so far, of good quality, so it’s been great.

“Youth football is about developing players and helping them on their way to the professional game. We’ve had some excellent players come through our academy and we’ve got some in there at the minute too.”

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