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Six of Aston Villa's FA Youth Cup winners land pro contracts

Six of Aston Villa's FA Youth Cup winners have been handed pro contracts.

The club has exercised an option to extend Louie Barry's contract until 2024 and Brad Young, Hayden Lindley, Arjan Raikhy, Filip Marschall and Chisom Afoka have all signed new deals. Under-18 team-mate Patrick Zito has also penned a short-term contract, announced Aston Villa's website.

Forward Barry, 18, scored on his senior debut in the FA Cup third round against Liverpool in January and went on to finish last season with 20 goals in all competitions. That haul for the England U18 frontman included five strikes in the FA Youth Cup as Villa lifted the trophy for the first time since 2002.

Fellow striker Young, 18, netted the decisive goal in the final against the Reds at Villa Park – one of 21 goals across a campaign that saw him star for the U18s, U23s and make his senior debut.

Central midfielder Lindley, 18, was an ever-present during the FA Youth Cup run, also making his senior bow off the bench in the FA Cup third-round tie against Liverpool.

Raikhy, 18, was another player to make his Villa debut against Liverpool, crowning a strong season for the midfielder that saw him become a key component of the Youth Cup triumph.

Goalkeeper Marschall, 18, was called up by England U18s during the 2020/21 season following his strong form for Villa, which saw him play five of six games in the FA Youth Cup.

Winger Afoka, 17, has penned a new deal after enjoying a productive first season at Villa. The England youth international featured heavily for the U18s and was part of the squad that lifted the FA Youth Cup.

Zito, 18, is a homegrown defender who has extended his stay at the club and will be hoping to bounce back strongly after an injury-hit 2020/21 campaign.


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