Peter Beardsley

By Dan King in Pistoia, Italy

The Magpies Development Squad exited the Torneo di Viareggio in the group stages following their 1-1 draw with Lecce, but coach Peter Beardsley still believes the competition has been a great experience for his youngsters.

And he admits he would love to return to Tuscany next year with the same players 12 months older and wiser.

United, who had defenders Louis Storey, Alex Nicholson and Michael Riley starting their first games of the Coppa Carnevale, produced their best performance of the tournament at the Stadio M. Melani and deserved to end on a winning note.

And Beardsley told nufc.co.uk: "In the first half in particular, we played some really good football. Probably if there's one complaint, it was that we tried to walk it in too much, but it was a lot better.

"The good thing was, we had three kids in - three first years, and another in Michael Hoganson who came on - and that's what this whole trip was about. Obviously, we wanted to go further but it wasn't to be.

"They had a good tutor in the middle of them in Jeff Henderson. He helped them a lot and I think all three of them can be happy with how they did."

With the experience of playing in a different country against varying styles of play under their belts, Beardsley would welcome the chance to compete in the Torneo di Viareggio again next February.

He said: "It's good for the young kids and if the circumstances allowed it, I'd love to come back next year with the same group of players; them knowing what it's about, them knowing what to expect, and I'm sure we would do very well."