Aston Villa Academy graduate Dominic Revan has become somewhat of a regular fixture on the substitutes bench in recent matches.
For those who follow our Under 23 side, 18-year-old Revan has begun establishing himself in our second string over the past two seasons in particular and he was part of the squad that took us to Premier League Cup success in 2017/18 and our narrow promotion failure as despite a late surge, Play-Off success became a step too far in the Premier League 2 Division 2 competition.
He’s yet to make his professional debut in the game, but with injuries hitting and as new head coach Dean Smith continues to tweak at points as he still learns about the group at his disposal before final decisions are made about the January transfer window, Revan received the call and appeared in the matchday squad against Middlesbrough at the beginning of December, and he kept that spot for the West Bromwich Albion game last Friday.
In fairness, a proper crack at the first team is less likely for Revan than it should be for somebody like Callum O’Hare for example, so I see a lot of sense in Smith’s words about letting our youngsters off the leash in the January window to get them some proper experience and game time so we can really see what they are capable of.
“There’s a number of the under-23s who’ve been up and training with us – and some of the under-18s as well. We’ve had a glut of injuries in a short space of time so it’s given an opportunity to the likes of Callum O’Hare, Jake Doyle-Hayes, Dominic Revan and Jacob Bedeau to come and train with us.”
Speaking a little more specifically about Revan, Smith went on to say.
“They’ve acquitted themselves really well. Dominic is someone I feel can help us defensively if we need him. He’s got a little bit of pace, he’s comfortable on the ball and he’s impressed all of us since he’s been training with us. I’ve always said: If you’re good enough then you’re at the right age, it doesn’t matter whether you’re 16 or 35. If you’re good enough and performing day-to-day then you’ve got an opportunity to get into the squad.”
Those looking for a more youthful feel to our first team will be pleased with Smith’s attitude towards the youngsters, but adding Mitch Clark into the list and the calls for his recall in January, I actually see Smith’s words as meaning more loans in the second half of the season so everyone is better prepared for 2019/20.
And I can’t actually fault that.
I think most agree there’s no point in recalling Clark unless he’s going to play, and when it comes to O’Hare, JDH, Revan and everyone else, the bench is an experience, but a better one comes from a run of games in League One or Two.
Get them out playing unless we can get rid of those first teamers who should be ahead of them, but equally aren’t playing and are a drain on our finances.