Mark Irvine believes Saints Under-18s’ winning end to their tour of Spain has delivered a timely boost heading into final preparations for the 2014/15 campaign.
Following defeats to Villarreal and Girona, the youngsters rounded their trip off positively with a 1-0 win over RCD Espanyol at the side’s training ground courtesy of a prodded finish from Irvine.
The forward was relieved to get off the mark in the run-up to the new season after a lack of shooting opportunities in the matches prior to that.
“It was very pleasing,” Irvine said of his goal to the club’s official YouTube channel. “In the last couple of games it’s been frustrating not being able to get many shots in. It was obviously good for me and the team to get a goal and finish the tournament on a high.
“We’ve got to do our job at the other end of the pitch and be clinical. It’s a team effort.
“It gives me confidence. We’ve been working hard as a team together to put that performance together and it resulted in a win.”
With Saturday’s welcoming of Exeter City the only friendly remaining before the U18s’ season gets underway, Irvine wants the greater sense of positivity to be further increased with another victory after a rewarding tour.
The 17-year-old continued: “Getting the win was a massive positive as a team going into the next game and for the training in the lead-up to the start of the season. Hopefully we can get a win [against Exeter] ready for the season.
“I think it’s been good, learning Spanish off the pitch – not just all about the football. On the pitch it’s been good. We’ve been working hard as a team together and building that team spirit ready for the season – it’s been good.”