Aston Villa take non-league star on trial

Aston Villa have offered a trial to Maidstone United defender Ben Swift

Aston Villa have taken Ben Swift on trial, after he has impressed at Maidstone United.

The 17-year-old defender will not have been too well known to football fans across the country, but Villa have scouted him as someone who could have the potential to make the grade in the Premier League.

Swift had been attracting the attention of Ryman division sides, but Maidstone manager Jay Saunders had to tell them he was unavailable as he had bigger offers on the horizon.

"I was speaking to a couple of Ryman South managers who'd made enquiries," Saunders said to Kent Online.

"I had to say 'I think he might be going to Aston Villa, so I don't think he'll be coming down!'

"Ben has a lot of potential and has done really well. I think he's got a good future.

"Sometimes players can go out too early to get games but he's ready for men's football."

It would be a big move for Swift if he does prove to make the grade and he will be looking to impress in the U18's game against Leicester this weekend.

That fixture is being used as a game to gauge Swift's talents in and a good performance may result in a life changing move taking place.

Villa have shown their faith in bringing through lower-league players in recent seasons, with the likes of Ashley Westwood and Matt Lowton being plucked from the Football League, but the step-up that Swift will have to make it even more vast. 

The first-team take on Everton this weekend, where Swift may get his first opportunity to watch on at where he could be playing in the future.

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