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Football: Carew: I can't wait for Euro adventure.

Byline: By Bill Howell OUR MAN AT VILLA

JOHN Carew is relishing a return to European football with Villa this season and has promised even better days ahead for Martin O'Neill's men.

And the giant Norwegian striker says there is a determined mood from within the camp to make sure UEFA Cup participation becomes a reality.

Villa's 13-goal leading Premier League marksman from last season is determined the team do not let the opportunity of playing against some of the biggest clubs on the continent pass them by.

"I'm really looking forward to the new season. I think it will be a good season and we're always trying to improve," he said.

"I think this season will be even better than last year.

"I was very happy at the end of last season. It was a good one for us. We came sixth and that's a good achievement.

"Our ambition was to reach Europe in two years and we did it in one. Now we just have to win those InterToto games to reach the UEFA Cup - that would be really fantastic for everybody."

Villa are just two games away from the second qualifying round of the UEFA Cup, with Odense of Denmark likely to be standing in their way come the weekend after next.

Carew added: "Every footballer wants to play in Europe. It's a beautiful experience as you go to other countries and play really good teams.

"It's a part of the football dream. So it's very important to win the InterToto games."

Carew says the Gareth Barry saga has taken nothing away from what was an exceptionally upbeat dressing room for the majority of last season.

"The spirit here is good," he added.

"There's very good humour in the dressing room, everybody is taking good care of each other. It's great to be a part of Aston Villa."

Villa were today being put through their paces in Saint Gallen, Switzerland, as they prepare for tomorrow night's friendly with FC Wil 1900 in the 5,850 Sportpark Bergholz, situated in a town with a population of fewer than 17,000.

Carew added: "Everybody is also coming back fitter than last year so it looks good.

"This time of the year is very important for us as we build a platform for the whole season and we build up our strength."

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JOHN CAREW.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jul 9, 2008
Words:396
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