Aston Villa defender Lewis Kinsella buoyed by Tim Sherwood's trust in youth

The emerging left-back made the senior bench for the first time during the 2-0 FA Cup quarter-final win over West Bromwich Albion.

Aston Villa defender Lewis Kinsella has told the club’s official website of his delight at earning his first appearance on the senior bench against West Bromwich Albion, and hopes the arrival of new boss Tim Sherwood will see him earn more first-team opportunities moving forward.

The left-back, 20, travelled with the squad for last month’s 1-0 defeat at Newcastle United following injuries to Aly Cissokho and Kieran Richardson, although he failed to make the matchday 18.

However, with the pair unable to recover in time for the weekend’s FA Cup quarter-final visit of West Brom, and right-back Alan Hutton out suspended, the former trainee got the call from Sherwood to take his place among the substitutes alongside fellow fledgling Riccardo Calder.

Neither would manage to see the pitch on the night, as Villa would go on to record a spirited 2-0 win over their Midlands rivals, but Kinsella was still given a huge lift from the sheer magnitude of the occasion.

“It was unbelievable. I didn’t know what it would feel like,” he said. “When Leo [Leandro Bacuna] got injured I thought I might be coming on and got a bit nervous.

“Luckily he was alright, though, and when we went 2-0 up I just wanted to get on and get involved.

“The atmosphere was just unbelievable and it was great to be a part of.”

Starting out his career at Arsenal before leaving the Emirates for Villa, Kinsella has established himself as a regular for the Under-21s over the past two seasons, and was also a part of the side which won the 2012-13 NextGen Series.

With Sherwood arriving from Tottenham Hotspur with a reputation for putting faith in homegrown talent, the likes of star prospects Jack Grealish and Callum Robinson are expected to be given amble opportunities moving forward, and Kinsella admits that the entire atmosphere around the club has changed for the better.

“With the new gaffer, everyone’s getting opportunities, even the first and second years,” he added. “Kev [assistant manager Kevin MacDonald] pushes the youngsters as well so it’s a great opportunity for all of us to show off what we have.

“It’s completely changed. Everyone’s buzzing and it’s quality to be involved with.”

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