James Tavernier

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

The new season hasn't even started yet, but James Tavernier has already won two trophies since the last campaign ended.

United's 20-year-old defender helped to earn the Trofeu Internacional de Futebol do Guadiana on Saturday night, having already skippered the Reserves to the Hong Kong Football Club International Soccer Sevens title earlier this summer.

A 2-1 win over Braga, following on from Friday's draw with Olympiakos, was enough for Newcastle to win the three-team tournament which is in its 12th year.

And Tavernier - who gave another impressive showing against the Portuguese side - told nufc.co.uk: "We wanted to come here and win every single game and obviously win the tournament, which we've done, and we're the first English side to win the tournament which is really good to know. 

"It was a great test for the team leading up to the season. It's been a great trip and the Germany trip was great as well so I've really enjoyed it.

"I'm winning a couple of trophies at the minute and it's a good feeling, winning. That's what I want to do: win every single game that I play and I want the team to win every single game they play so it's great that we've got the winning mentality and can push forward and do well."

While winning pre-season trophies is encouraging, however, it doesn't compare to lifting major honours and the Magpies faithful have had to wait a long time since that last happened on Tyneside.

But with the club competing on four fronts next year - the Barclays Premier League, Europa League, FA Cup and Carling Cup - Tavernier has set his sights on trying to finally end that barren run.

"It's the aim every season to go in and try and win a trophy," he said. "You look at the Premier League and try and do well to get high in the Premier League next season, but we're in the Europa League now so there will be a lot more games and more competitions so hopefully we can do well in all of the them."

Not only has the Bradford-born youngster gained a taste for trophies in recent weeks, but he's also enjoying being part of the first-team set-up having also travelled to Germany and Austria earlier this month.

For the past two seasons he has largely been honing his skills out on loan but now, having just signed a three-year contract, he is hoping to break into Alan Pardew's side next term.

And he knows that his versatility could help him to do that. Widely regarded as a right-back for much of his life, Tavernier excelled at centre-back against Braga and Fenerbahce in friendly fixtures.

"From the start, I could play right-back and centre-back," he said. "I've done that through my career, playing both positions, and I feel really comfortable in both positions.

"It's good experience when I'm in there with Colo and the experience I get from him really pushes my game and I'll become a better player with everything I learn from him.

"If the gaffer wants me to play centre-back then I'm happy to play centre-back.

"I want to get in the team as quick as I can and keep my place in the team so I'm just going to really push hard every day we're in and really try to catch the eye, and hopefully I can get in the team soon."