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Kelly: Early start boosts Cottagers


Stephen Kelly

Stephen Kelly

Stephen Kelly

Stephen Kelly believes Fulham's early start to the season - and the unusual experience of playing in the Faroe Islands - will stand the club in good stead as they embark on another European adventure.

Fulham, whose early start has ensured they will play a competitive match in every month of 2011, advanced to the second qualifying round of the Europa League with a 3-0 aggregate win over NSI Runavik.

Martin Jol's side were frustrated at being held to a goalless draw by the Faroese part-timers on Thursday night despite creating a host of chances. But Kelly told the club's official website: "It's started early for us again but it's got that feeling of another European tour already."

He added: "It would be great if we could continue progressing and it's great to go away to different countries.

"I'd never been to the Faroe Islands before and it's a landscape we would never see unless we were involved in the UEFA Europa League.

"We should benefit from the fact we're playing competitive games rather than friendly matches.

"We had good chances and plenty of possession but they defended in numbers and made it difficult.

"We got a clean sheet and it was a good performance at the back and we're through to the next round.

"It's been a good test for us and as much as it was a competitive match, it was only our second game of the season on Thursday night.

"Now we'll be sharper and hopefully that will show against the Crusaders next week."