Villa legend Platt rescued Young's pro career

Aston Villa star Ashley Young has revealed how Villa Park legend David Platt kicked off his pro career.

Aston Villa star Ashley Young has revealed how Villa Park legend David Platt kicked off his pro career.

There can be no doubt that Young has made his own luck. Shown the door by Watford at 16, he argued his case to stay on as a part-timer and eventually made it. But even he accepts that on one particular day fate dealt him a cracking hand.

"David Platt was in charge of England’s Under 21s and they were doing a training camp in Slough and were short of numbers," explained Young to the Daily Mail.

"He rang up the club and asked for a midfielder to go down. Anthony McNamee was put forward but he was off ill that day. He might say that could have been him, but fortunately for me, I went instead. People might say it’s fate.

"I was 16 years old and on the same pitch as Michael Carrick, Jermain Defoe, Jermaine Pennant and Jermaine Jenas. They didn’t have a clue who I was. I’m sure they wouldn’t remember, even now.

"I was nervous to start but I played in a practice match and showed my ability. It was a great day for me. It helped me carry on the way I was because I wasn’t sure whether I was going to be offered anything.

"But it kept me believing. A few days later, I was called into the offices at Watford and told what Platt had said about me afterwards. I believe it was very complimentary. I don’t know whether it had a bearing or not, but I was offered a pro contract a few weeks later."

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