de Boer wants to finish on a high
Midfielder Kees de Boer believes playing Liverpool should be motivation enough for Swansea City under-23s to fight for victory in tonight’s final Premier League International Cup group match at Kirkby (7pm).
A draw against Villarreal in September followed by defeat at the hands of German side Hertha Berlin before Christmas means the development side have no chance of qualifying for the knock out stage of the competition with Liverpool also unlikely to qualify from the group.
Despite that young Dutchman de Boer, who joined the Swans from Ajax’s prestigious academy in 2017, is keen to deliver a final flourish in the competition after gaining his first taste of it last month.
“I am enjoying my football and I feel I am learning everyday against good teams,” the 18-year-old said. “My main focus is to keep developing myself with the under-23s.
“It was great to get my first taste of International Cup action before Christmas. We are very disappointed not to go further in the competition this season.
“We enjoy playing against different teams from different countries and different footballing cultures.
“I feel we can still take the experiences from playing Villarreal and Hertha Berlin this season.
“We can still look to take a lot from tonight’s game – even if there is no chance of progressing from the group.
“Liverpool are a team I grew up supporting. They are a huge club around the world who have one of the best academies with some exceptional young players.
“We have played them twice in the league so far this season. We lost one and drew one, so now it is time for us to get a win.”
THE SITUATION IN THE GROUP - Swansea are bottom of Group E with 1 point and no chance of qualification. Liverpool are third and could finish second with a victory. However, they would need a win of +7 goal or more to overcome a goal difference deficit and other results to go for them to have any chance of qualifying from the group as a one of two best runner-up teams.