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The reserves are back !


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by OutByEaster

Imagine going to Villa Park to see the first home game of the season.

Villa are Champions and you’re going to be watching from the luxury of your seat in the Trinity Road stand after a quiet drink with friends in the newly refurbished McGregor Suite.

Imagine no longer.

This Monday, Villa’s league winning reserve side will be returning to HQ to take on Tottenham Hotspurs second string and the club have rather generously offered to open up the McGregor Suite for the first 200 fans to attend on the night.

They put on a similar offer last season and I’d recommend it; it’s always good to see how the other half live, the Guinness is pretty near drinkable and padded seats are a veritable pleasure.

Kick off is at 7.00 pm as is usually the case with reserve games, and entry is free for season ticket holders and just £2 for everyone else.

Parking is free anywhere in the ground and there’s usually not too much of a queue for the kiosks at half time.

I say this every year, (and this years no different) but I really am surprised how few people take up the opportunity to see our reserve side. It’s free, you see some great football, played by some great young footballers, and we usually win!

There’s a great atmosphere at reserve games too, of course we want the team in claret and blue to win, but there’s a relaxed feeling to things and it’s not considered treason to appreciate a piece of skill by the opposition.

There’s plenty of skill in our ranks to keep you busy though. Last seasons team didn’t win their division through luck, and many of them are back this year. In fact as our opening day victory away to Stoke showed, we’re almost ridiculously strong.

This season promises to be one in which the reserves will be stocked with a great mixture of young talent and experienced hands. Those of you that fancy taking in a game or two can expect to see at least some of the following:

Goalkeepers

Reserves team stalwart Stuart Taylor might well continue at number one this season, from where he’ll doubtless be shouting some of the rudest words in the English language at our young defence, he’ll be ably assisted by Elliott Parish who started against Stoke and may be challenged by Brad Guzan.

Defence

Our new found depth at centre half means we might see a lot of Zat Knight in the reserves this season, and early on we might see a bit of Carlos Cuellar too as he strives to prove himself. Behind them we have the exceptionally promising Nathan Baker, and England under nineteen Captain Ciaran Clark. Chris Herd is a promising midfielder currently getting the nod at right back, with bushy haired American Eric Lichaj not far behind. At left back Baker will probably start, but I think we can look forward to sightings of O’Halloran and Bouma as they return from their respective knocks. We have the potential to field as strong a back line as I’ve seen at reserves level in the coming season, and it’s cause for a fair bit of optimism.

Midfield

If the defence is strong, the midfield is a mouth-watering proposition. I reckon against Spurs we’ll start with Routledge, Osbourne, Sidwell and Bannan. That’s a group that are more than capable of holding their own and then some. Routledge looks better every time I see him and is now a legitimate alternative for the first team on the right, Bannan is a box of tricks who never stops moving and never seems to fail to use the ball well; he’s a pleasure to watch. Osbourne and Sidwell should be able to dominate the middle of the park.

Our depth in midfield is outstanding, and I think we’ll also see Albrighton, Salifou, Forrester, Herd and Stieber over the course of the season. It’s a reflection of our strength that those players aren’t going to be starting our reserve games.

Strikers

Roll up; roll up for the Nathan Delfouneso show. This should be his year at reserve team level, and in a team as strong as this I think he’ll have every chance to show off his wide range of skills. Marlon Harewood seems to like playing reserve team football too, and you can look forward to him reprising his role as Godfather to our youngsters whenever an opposition player takes any liberties. Those two are backed up by the enigmatic Tobias Mikaelsson, the bullish James Collins, the muscular Sam Williams and the returning Adam McGurk.

Under the expert stewardship of Kevin McDonald, I’ll be surprised if we’re not competing near the top of the table at the end of the season, and I’m hopeful of back-to-back titles.

Come along, get involved and enjoy two seasons for the price of one. See the future, see some of the most entertaining football around, and see us win game after game in style. See Villa Park in the splendour of summer evenings; enjoy winters in the frozen wasteland of the Bescot stadium. Shout at the great and good when they appear in opposition line-ups. Find a player you love that not many have seen and shout his name from the rooftops. Have a pint in the Holte Hotel then sit next to Cyrille Regis. Star spot in the crowd, or say hello to a visiting manager in the car park. Come and appreciate all that reserve team football has to offer this coming season, you won’t be sorry you did.

19:00 – next Monday – Villa Park – vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Keep up with the season here

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Cracking build-up Scott :clap:

I did have to laugh at us, not for the first time, using a midfielder at rightback though :lol:

I'm wondering whether Osbourne is banging his head against a brick wall this season. I'm suspecting reserves for Villa will be all he gets.

It's almost a pity Knight will play in the reserves because I'd like to see Baker and Clark at the back. There's 2 players who could be our future along with Davies.

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I mean this with the greatest of repect but there's a pretty good reason why not many people turn up to reserve matches.

I went to the Stoke reserve match the other night and i also watched the youngsters play last summer pre-season at Hednesford, both matches were completely sh*t and frankly on the verge of boring, i know we have to support all forms of Aston Villa and i do admire people who attend the games regularly but it's not for me i'm afraid.

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I mean this with the greatest of repect but there's a pretty good reason why not many people turn up to reserve matches.

I went to the Stoke reserve match the other night and i also watched the youngsters play last summer pre-season at Hednesford, both matches were completely sh*t and frankly on the verge of boring, i know we have to support all forms of Aston Villa and i do admire people who attend the games regularly but it's not for me i'm afraid.

So you've seen a couple of dull games and now you think you've got it clocked? Honestly, you couldn't be wider of the mark if you tried.

Some of the most entertaining matches I've seen live and in person have taken place at the Bescott. Now there's a phrase I never thought I'd say! Didn't go much last season (two games) but I was a regular the year before and hope to be again this time around.

Any news on where we're going to be playing in the new year because it sounds like our deal with Walsall might be off.

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