Ex-NextGen star Graham Burke among 11 Aston Villa youngsters released

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Not all of the Villans' released players have been as lucky as Darren Bent in immediately landing a new club.

Aston Villa certainly were swinging the sword yesterday, as the club website confirmed the release of thirteen players from their careers at the Midlands outfit.

The two first team players unsurprisingly got most of the focus, with club record signing Darren Bent leaving Villa on a free four and a half years after arriving from Sunderland for a fee that could have gone up to £24 million according to BBC Sport.

But aside from the England international, there were many others whose time at Villa has come to an end.

Former Republic of Ireland Under-21 defender Enda Stephens also failed to get his contract extended, having made just nine appearances for the Lions.

But there were a grand total of eight youngsters that have been released having played for the club's Under-21 side in recent seasons. 

Irish Under-21 forward Graham Burke is probably the most well known of the youngsters released, having spent time on loan at Notts County last season, and previously being hailed as a hugely promising forward after top scoring in the 2012-13 Nextgen tournament that Villa won. Burke would make two League Cup appearances that season, but no more in his time at the club

Also released are fellow forward Alfie Crooks, goalkeeper Craig Hill, Irish Under-21 defender Brad Lewis, ex Southampton fullback Isaac Nehemie, former England Under-17 midfielder Daniel O'Brien, Australian striker Thomas Strain and fullback Courtney Wildin. Three academy youngsters left the club too, with goalkeeper Dylan Forth, striker Harry Lewis and Australian midfielder Ryan Strain not offered professional contracts.

While Bent, who has already signed for Derby County, and Stephens may well be playing professional football again some time soon, there are eleven young footballers who will be desperate to find a new club sometime soon

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