New man holds Villa’s future

By Graham Hill

VILLA chief executive Christian Purlsow has signalled yet another important ‘pathway’ towards the club’s future.

Purslow had indicated that he wants Villa to be producing their own talent over coming years.

And persuading Mark Harrison to leave West Brom to come to Villa as academy manager is being seen as something of a coup.

Harrison’s appointment was officially announced on Friday.

And Purslow told the club’s official website: “Aston Villa is a football club steeped in a rich tradition of producing its own players.

“Mark’s appointment is another cornerstone of the process and journey that we set out upon last summer.

“As a football club, we want a clear pathway right through the academy to the first-team with outstanding recruitment and development.

“I have every confidence that Mark, working closely with Dean Smith and Jesus Garcia Pitarch, will build an excellent academy that will be able to nurture the next generation of stars to entertain the crowds at Villa Park.”

Harrison headed up the Baggies academy for 13 years and players such as Saido Berahino, Izzy Brown and Tyler Roberts came through the Albion ranks.

Now Villa clearly want him to provide more young talent with a view to them coming through into the first team.

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