Date: 4th August 2010 at 4:46pm
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Seems to be a ‘youth’ flavour today, the success of the Academy and straight onto Barry Bannan citing Gabby Agbonlahor as a role model for all Young Lions.

Speaking on the Official Site Bannan explained that Gabby’s elevation from Academy starlet to first team star is a testament to not only Gabby’s desire to achieve and succeed but also to the foundations laid by the Academy staff and their support of him.

Bannan obviously knows this first hand having travelled the same route as Gabby through the youth levels before finding himself on the cusp of the first team fringes, and only the other day admitted last season that it was his own fault that he didn’t take more advantage of the pre season opportunities gifted to him – and his performances this pre season show he’s learnt from that mistake.

Speaking of himself, and others such as Albie, Clarkie, Lichajy, and Weemany, he believes they should take great heart in Gabby’s story and look to replicate it.

‘You make a decision when you’re younger – you look if a team is going to play young lads and you only have to look at the likes of Ridgewell, Davis and Gabby – they all got a chance. If you play well, the gaffer will give you a chance. It’s the perfect club to be at.’

Bannan also reserved special praise for Gordon Cowans who was instrumental in his development.

‘I have learnt a lot from Sid. He’s been close to me since I joined and he has helped me along the way, with plenty of tips. You couldn’t ask to learn from someone better – Cowans is a Villa legend.’

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