Villa pair Gardner, Agbonlahor acting as academy inspiration

Aston Villa's 17 year-old defender Steven Clancy says senior midfielder Craig Gardner is his inspiration.

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"It's great working with the three coaches - Tony, Gordon and Kevin," Clancy told Villa's website. "They've all got great pedigree at bringing youth players through so that can only be good for any of the younger lads at Villa.

"You just need to look at Gabby and Craig and what they've already achieved in the first team in such a short space of time. It offers real incentive for us younger lads.

"I look at Craig and see a good, young professional. He works hard all the time and puts in the work at training and afterwards too. He certainly puts the hours in."

Clancy has played plenty of youth team games so far as well as a handful of reserve matches. And he expressed his delight to be playing for 'the biggest club in the area.'

He added: "It's massive to be at Villa. It's the biggest club in the area and a real honour and privilege to play for them. I want to do my best every week for the club.

"It's an amazing feeling to pull on the jersey. I don't really get nervous before games, it's mainly excitement. It's a fantastic feeling to play for Villa."

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