Date: 10th December 2018 at 8:00am
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Aston Villa head coach Dean Smith has already made it patently clear that he wants to get our Under 23 talents out on loan in January so they can experience the proper professional game and all that entails.

Speaking to the Birmingham Mail recently to talk about our highly rated next generation, Smith explained.

“I think that’s really important. These under-23s need to go and play men’s football. They come back better players and better people. They go out and see the real world playing alongside some seasoned professionals who rely on winning games for bonuses. Going out on loan to me is something that’s really important for their development and it’s something that we’re keen to do.”

With that carrying its own overtones for the youngsters lots of fans want to see involved in our first team setup, it’s also a sensible plan for the gaffer as he looks to the future and in some ways it should help put further pressure on those at the club who are coasting and giving us little – the names on our playing staff should not leave fans wanting youngsters immediately in the starting XI if they were earning their money.

In any event, another lad who is highly rated at the club and has been impressive whilst out on loan away from us, is 21-year-old Harry McKirdy but sadly he’s now picked up a knock.

Having gained experience with Stevenage back in the 2016/17 campaign (seven starts, six substitute showings and two goals), he headed out to Crewe Alexandra in the second half of the 2017/18 season. Five starts and eleven substitute showings, returned three goals but our Academy graduate has now picked up a hamstring injury (the recent Premier League Cup clash against Plymouth Argyle) and it’s set to sideline him for the next three months.

McKirdy provided the assist in the game as Jordan Cox netted to give us a 1-0 victory, but obviously it means he won’t increase his own competitive experience with another loan spell out.

Disappointingly he’s already spent time out this season with a shoulder dislocation but I have no doubts he’ll be fit and firing to impress at the end of the year and over pre-season.

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