Presentation: Aston Villa Dangerman Marc Albrighton (video)
It’s been some time now since I presented a dangerman from the opposition before a game. But I find this young man very interesting because he proves that it can be done to our own young footballers playing in our Development team and in the Academy.
And I believe that he will start on the wing against us on Sunday (see the probable starting elevens HERE).
It is becoming more and more rare that a player from a Premier League team goes forward from boyhood to adulthood in the same team and makes a position in the senior team his own. But it seems that Marc Albrighton of Aston Villa is on his way to do just that.
Asked about the game on Sunday against Wolves, the young starlet said to Birmingham Mail:
“I can’t wait. Hopefully I get selected and show what I can do in a local derby. It’s brilliant that we’ve got so many Midland clubs in the Premier League.
It goes to show how good football is in the West Midlands. It’s been proven over the last few days with all the local sides going into the next round of the Carling Cup.”
Born in Tamworth 1989, Marc started to play for local club Mile Oak Monarchs as a toddler. When he was eight he was on trial for West Brom, but they rejected him (!). Instead he was lucky to get to play for Aston Villa – his favorite club anyway.
He grew up and went through the different stages of youth football as one of a team – but a very promising youngster – and was picked out to attend the Villa Academy. He excelled there aswell and impressed in the Under 18′s team – that was very successful during his time there – and in the reserves.
The Under 18′s actually reached the FA Youth cup final in 2008 and Albrighton was an important cog in that team.
In this stage of a players development the big clubs usually ship their players out on-loan. But Martin O’Neill didn’t want to do that with Marc Albrighton and a couple of other youngsters.
He thought that the best starlets could develop better when training together with the Villa first team, playing in pre-season matches, in Cup games and in the reserves.
Albrighton got his first senior game already in the pre-season of 2008-9 against Wil. But the real debut in a competitive game came away against CSKA Moscow in the UEFA Cup in February of 2009.
Last season he played for the club in some pre season games and made his Premier League debut as a second half substitute in the premier against Wigan. He also played against Liverpool in December, but had some niggles and injury problems during the season. He also was a late substitute against Wolves at Molineux, if you can remember.
Marc also got his first England cups – first with the U20′s last year – and the current year also with the U21′s. He scored his first international goal against Lithuania this summer
The Villa reserves – with former Villa caretaker MacDonald in charge – had success in the play-offs this summer and when they played in the play-off final against Manchester United the youth coach and former supersub in United Ole Gunnar Solkjaer said that Marc was ‘one to watch’.
This season started very well for Albrighton when he was picked for the starting eleven in the premier of the league against West Ham.
He assisted to two of the three Villa goals in the 3-0 win. When asked by the press if he wanted to be a Premier League player he answered that he already was one.
This season – with O’Neill leaving Aston Villa – it seems as Marc Albrighton will get more playing time. The Caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald has said that he wants Marc to play all 38 games for Villa this season. But he is no longer in charge.
The question now is if Monsieur Houllier will be as impressed of the young starlet from Tamworth. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he turns out to be!
P.S. I bet that the management in the team down the road regret not taking him on when he was eight. But – on the other hand – he would never have developed to the player he is today down there. D.S.
P.P.S. Watch number 12 – Marc Albrighton – in this clip against Feynoord from pre-season: