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Villa youth coaches unsure how many of current batch will make it

Aston Villa coaches Kevin MacDonald and Tony McAndrew admit their latest batch of exciting kids are not guaranteed to make it.

Marc Albrighton was 21 nine days ago. Jonathan Hogg, too, is 21. Then there is Chris Herd, 21, Ciaran Clark, 21 and Eric Lichaj, 22. Nathan Delfouneso is 19 and Craig Gardner's younger brother, Gary, 18. All come from Villa's academy.

Via Bradford and Leeds there is also Fabien Delph, 19.

"We're not sure," said MacDonald when asked how many of this group will be here and successful in a couple of years.

"Fifty to 100 Premier League games," he added. "Once you've done that then you can say that you've started a career. Playing in three games just means that you've been exposed to a different environment, one in which it is very difficult to compete.

"We're not saying they're all going to be Premier League stars for Aston Villa. A worry for us is that they may not be. This is not an easy sport in which to be successful but it is easy to be thrown out there."

McAndrew agreed: "You don't know. Most of them have the potential to stay in the Premier League, they all have the potential to have a good career. But for me the bottom line is, how did they do? It doesn't matter the circumstances - injuries or a bigger subs' bench. To get a chance you need a bit of luck, we all do. The question is, have they taken their chance?"

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