Eoin Wearen was a Gaelic football prospect before signing with West Ham United.
Wearen was a child-star in his native Republic of Ireland and was offered the chance to join Dublin's Gaelic football team before opting to pursue a career in English soccer a year ago.
The midfielder, who turns 17 in October, made his reserve-team debut this week and told WHUTV: "I come from north-central Dublin, not far from the centre of the city. I've been here just for a few months now and am enjoying every minute of it, particularly this season, I'm getting the chance to push on and show my worth to the people above me.
"It was a great experience for someone my age to play at Villa Park. It's the type of thing you want, to be pushing on and making your name for yourself."