MANCHESTER United midfielder Tom Cleverley believes his Olympic experience can provide the foundations for what he hopes will personally be a significant season at club and international level.
Cleverley impressed for Team GB throughout London 2012 and though a full England debut has continued to elude, a potential first appearance against Italy tomorrow would represent a complete reversal in fortunes after a season which promised so much but ultimately delivered little.
“It was a bit of a frustrating season for me,” said Cleverley, who spent much of the last 12 months unfit after almost making a first England appearance. “It always is for a footballer to be injured. But I’m not thinking about that now. I’m getting my head down and hoping to play as much football as possible, whether that be for England or Manchester United.
“Including friendlies I managed to play six games and feel confident and fit from [the Olympics]. It’s also helped me experience what’s involved in tournament football.
“It was a bit different from your normal league games but on a personal level it was good for me.”