Aston Villa and their U23 side will be looking to erase the memory of last years Play-Off Final defeats, as they have the opportunity to rewrite history this month.

Words by Mark Jirobe | @VillaMarkPGH

Aston Villa’s U23 side have gained a place in the Premier League 2 playoffs for the second season in a row. The Young Lions finished 5th on the table and will travel to St. Mary’s to square off against Southampton on Friday, May 3rd. The squad has been in fine form leading into the playoffs, only being defeated once in their previous eight fixtures. 

It is exciting times for the Aston Villa senior squad and Aston Villa U23’s in regards to making a serious run in the Play-Offs this season. It was very unfortunate for both sets of teams to be beaten in their respective finals last season, and there has to be a bit of fire in their hearts now to overcome the last obstacle and achieve promotion. The U23 squad lost 2-0 to Brighton in their Final in 2018, while the senior Aston Villa squad lost out 1-0 to Fulham in their respective play-off final. 

There are a good number of promising players in the U23 set up at Villa, including promising 17-year old Jacob Ramsey who has featured on the bench for the Aston Villa senior squad on a few occasions this season – making his debut after replacing Conor Hourihane in the game against West Browmich Albion at Villa Park.

Image result for play-off final 2018

Ramsey has featured on eleven occasions for the Villa U23’s, registering two goals and one assist. The attack minded midfielder also has four goals and one assist in ten U18 league games. It is a remarkable feat of Ramsey to be included in the U23’s at such a young age and really says a lot about the current crop of players that Aston Villa are developing in recent times. 

Ramsey is not the only Young Lion that knows how to find the scoresheet. 20-year old centre-forward Kelsey Mooney has helped the U23’s with 6 goals after returning from loan at Cheltenham Town in January. 

There is something to be said about the quality of football on display with the U23’s when so many of their key players from previous seasons have been dispatched on loan. The likes of Jake Doyle-Hayes, Callum O’Hare and Corey Blackett-Taylor, among others, were all dispatched on loan in the previous January transfer window. Players like Mooney, added with fellow U23 players Harvey Knibbs & Jordan Cox, are fighting to ensure that Villa do all they can to get promoted this season through the Play-Offs.

The memory of losing last year will still be fresh for both of the Villa sides, but there seems to be a perfect blend of those who have experienced it and haven’t in both the senior and youth teams, meaning the hunger should truly be there in the coming weeks.


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