Aston Villa under-17 stars Anes Omerovic and Rushian Hepburn-Murphy were lauded by avfc.co.uk for their performances during the Wiesbadener Liliencup competition after both picked up individual awards.
Although Villa made a slow start to the five-a-side competition, they finished strongly and narrowly missed out on a place in the final four.
In the opening game against Eintracht Frankfurt, the Claret and Blues under-17 side could only muster a 2-2 draw and followed it up with a 3-2 loss to Slavia Prague. With qualification in the balance, the response from the young players was outstanding and showed a lot character.
They won their first game of the tournament against Hannover 2-1 shortly before showcasing their best performance of the trip by putting Vienna to the sword in a 6-1 win. Nevertheless, Ben petty’s side missed out on qualification to the last four by a single point and was sent home disappointed.
However, it wasn’t all bad news for those connected to the Villa side as Austrian midfielder Omerovic was voted by his peers as the player of the tournament, while Hepburn-Murphy shared the top goalscorer prize after netting five times – including a hat-trick against Rapid Vienna in the final game.
Defensive midfielder Omerovic, who signed from AKA Vorarlberg in the summer, has quickly become known as one of the top youth players currently at Villa and despite only being 16 has become a key player of the Austrian under-17 side.
Closer to home, Birmingham-born striker Hepburn-Murphy gives Villa fans hope they can one day follow on from Tottenham supporters in singing 'he's one of our own'.
The talented 16-year-old has represented England at both U16 and U17 level and was a member of the side that lost to Scotland in the 2013 victory shield.
Both players, despite their young age, do show huge signs of promise that they can one day not only become first team Aston Villa players, but players recognised on the world stage.