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Page last updated at 07:50 GMT, Tuesday, 7 June 2011 08:50 UK

Stoke City's Asmir Begovic ready for fixture congestion

Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic
Begovic joined Stoke from Portsmouth for 3.25m in February 2010

Goalkeeper Asmir Begovic has warned Stoke City to be ready for fixture congestion as they prepare to compete in the Europa League next season.

The Potters have qualified for Europe as FA Cup runners-up and will enter at the third qualifying stage in July.

"It will be a lot tougher next season, especially with us being in Europe," Begovic, 23, told BBC Radio Stoke.

"We'll have a lot more games if we keep progressing in each competition and we'll have to strengthen, I'm sure."

Tony Pulis's side, who finished 13th in the Premier League, will be competing in Europe for the first time since 1974/5.

The Potters reached the FA Cup final for the first time in their 148-year history, but were beaten 1-0 by Manchester City at Wembley on 14 May.

Bosnia international Begovic established himself as the club's number one goalkeeper ahead of Thomas Sorensen in October and went on to make 28 Premier League starts last season, keeping seven clean sheets.

"It's been a great season for the whole club, and for me personally, it's been fantastic breaking into the side and playing as many games as I have," said Begovic.

"It's been a great experience, you can't replicate playing games at this level, so it's been great for me and hopefully I can push on for next season."

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