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Ambitious youngster Mitchell Clark has revealed how his first team frustrations led to him leaving Aston Villa on loan.

Clark was one of 10 youngsters included on Villa's pre-season training camp in Portugal and featured in friendlies against Telford and Burton Albion.

Manager Steve Bruce has name-checked Clark a couple of times when discussing the club's starlets and the defender impressed on his first team debut against Wigan Athletic last season.

But, despite excelling with the seniors in pre-season, the 19-year-old quickly dropped back down to the under-23s and started their Premier League 2 opener against Norwich City in August.

Speaking to CoventryLive, Clark said: “It’s very frustrating but that’s just part of football.

“I made my debut in the Cup last year and I thought I did really well.

“Then I was on the bench for the following Cup match; thought I was going to play but didn’t.

“I was offered a new contract and then just when I thought I was progressing with the first team in the summer I was put back down to the 23s.

“I thought my summer went well, went with the first team to Portugal for two weeks doing running and then came back and played a few friendly games for the first team.

“Then I got told I was going on pre-season with the Under-23s and 18s to Denmark, so that was a dip for me.

“My confidence wasn’t the best and I didn’t really want to be there.

“I came back and I still wasn’t very happy and played a few 23s games and probably didn’t play the best because my head wasn’t in the right place.

“But I have got a new advisor and he told me to sort it out, so I started playing well and I heard that Port Vale were interested in taking me on loan.

“I didn’t have any second thoughts because I just wanted to get out to play football.

“I knew it was important to get out and play men’s football.

“Obviously 23s football is more about development work and the game isn’t played at a high pace. It’s more of a shape game and often looks like a training game if you’re watching from the stands.

“I wanted to play proper competitive football to test myself. The atmosphere around men’s football is much better and it means so much more, playing for points and in front of decent crowds.”

https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/sport/football/transfer-news/aston-villa-transfer-news-clark-15137209

There's just no plan for our own youngsters to come through. 

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I’m sorry but I despair sometimes! It didn’t go the way I wanted it to for a few weeks so I stopped trying. Got a new advisor and he told me to start trying again so I did. Despite acting like a 3 year old I am definitely ready for Championship football! Of course you are mate............grow up! There is not a footballer alive who is worth a place in the team but gets constantly overlooked! If you are good enough you will get a chance.

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1 hour ago, M_Afro said:

I’m sorry but I despair sometimes! It didn’t go the way I wanted it to for a few weeks so I stopped trying. Got a new advisor and he told me to start trying again so I did. Despite acting like a 3 year old I am definitely ready for Championship football! Of course you are mate............grow up! There is not a footballer alive who is worth a place in the team but gets constantly overlooked! If you are good enough you will get a chance.

Blimey, give the lad a break. It doesn’t matter whether he’s a footballer or not. Any negative feedback isn’t particularly nice to hear and we all react to things differently. I like him and think he will make it at Villa because I think he is good enough and he will build on his game time at Port Vale.

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12 minutes ago, Stockport_Villain said:

Blimey, give the lad a break. It doesn’t matter whether he’s a footballer or not. Any negative feedback isn’t particularly nice to hear and we all react to things differently. I like him and think he will make it at Villa because I think he is good enough and he will build on his game time at Port Vale.

I hope so but he will need to improve his attitude. We all face obstacles in life but it is how you deal with them that ultimately matters.

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4 hours ago, M_Afro said:

I hope so but he will need to improve his attitude. We all face obstacles in life but it is how you deal with them that ultimately matters.

Surely the fact that he’s at Port Vale and the article that was released references things that happened in the past is enough to show there is nothing wrong with his attitude.

 

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i think looking at our squad and whats ahead of him he has every right to be a bit disappointed

his problem seems to be that he was made to feel like he was good enough and his chance was coming he's had a good debut, played well in preseason and then he's not got a sniff (because a 33 year old RB gets in ahead of him)

sounds like bad man management

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17 hours ago, villa4europe said:

i think looking at our squad and whats ahead of him he has every right to be a bit disappointed

his problem seems to be that he was made to feel like he was good enough and his chance was coming he's had a good debut, played well in preseason and then he's not got a sniff (because a 33 year old RB gets in ahead of him)

sounds like bad man management

Sounds to me like Alan Hutton is better than him at left back and Neil Taylor so rather than Clark playing 3 games all season and the rest for the u23s he's been loaned out for a full season of competitive football. I call that good man management. 

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On 12/09/2018 at 14:04, M_Afro said:

I hope so but he will need to improve his attitude. We all face obstacles in life but it is how you deal with them that ultimately matters.

If you think you are good enough, and your club seems to agree, but you do not get a chance, it would feel like time to move on.

Nothing wrong with his attitude. He is doing absolutely the right thing.

I just hope Bruce goes before we lose him.

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On 12/09/2018 at 12:27, M_Afro said:

I’m sorry but I despair sometimes! It didn’t go the way I wanted it to for a few weeks so I stopped trying. Got a new advisor and he told me to start trying again so I did. Despite acting like a 3 year old I am definitely ready for Championship football! Of course you are mate............grow up! There is not a footballer alive who is worth a place in the team but gets constantly overlooked! If you are good enough you will get a chance.

Not so. Bruce is proving that he has his favourites.

He will just not bring in youngsters.

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On 13/09/2018 at 12:31, holteend1982 said:

Sounds to me like Alan Hutton is better than him at left back and Neil Taylor so rather than Clark playing 3 games all season and the rest for the u23s he's been loaned out for a full season of competitive football. I call that good man management. 

No he isn't. Hutton is actually a poor player with a big heart.

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6 hours ago, AntrimBlack said:

Not so. Bruce is proving that he has his favourites.

He will just not bring in youngsters.

Youngsters like Tuanzebe, Grealish, RHM, Davis, Green, even Onomah got plenty of games last year, along with SJ. He doesn't care about their age, he plays the best available players. This can be a weakness as it doesn't prepare the club for the future by giving the not quite good enough players the games they need to improve, but loaning them out completely solves this, I really don't see the issue here. He's not good enough for our first team yet, so he's being loaned out to get competitive games and to improve as a player, isn't that a good thing? 

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8 minutes ago, weedman said:

Youngsters like Tuanzebe, Grealish, RHM, Davis, Green, even Onomah got plenty of games last year, along with SJ. He doesn't care about their age, he plays the best available players. This can be a weakness as it doesn't prepare the club for the future by giving the not quite good enough players the games they need to improve, but loaning them out completely solves this, I really don't see the issue here. He's not good enough for our first team yet, so he's being loaned out to get competitive games and to improve as a player, isn't that a good thing? 

Green played 5 games (due to injuries)

RHM got 3 games

Tuanzebe got 5 games

Davies got 28 but didn't get a look in during the second half of the season

Onomah for reasons unknown got 33 games

But Grealish obviously played a big part once he came back and would have been integral no doubt.

 

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10 hours ago, weedman said:

Youngsters like Tuanzebe, Grealish, RHM, Davis, Green, even Onomah got plenty of games last year, along with SJ. He doesn't care about their age, he plays the best available players. This can be a weakness as it doesn't prepare the club for the future by giving the not quite good enough players the games they need to improve, but loaning them out completely solves this, I really don't see the issue here. He's not good enough for our first team yet, so he's being loaned out to get competitive games and to improve as a player, isn't that a good thing? 

I am all for loaning our youngsters out; it is a very good thing. But I think we leave it too late to do it.

But in the case of Clark, when he played he looked better than Taylor or Hutton. A subjective view, I know, only my opinion, but I think shared by others.

He brings in other clubs' young players, but I don't think Onomah is better than, for instance, Doyle-Hayes. Tuanzebe has also been very poor.

In site of their poor performances, both have been afforded long runs in the team which he has not afforded to our own youngsters.

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