Aston Villa goalkeeper Mark Bunn hails Kevin Toner's maturity

The Irish defender has started Villa's past two games after making his Premier League debut in last month's 4-2 loss to Southampton.

Aston Villa youngster Kevin Toner has shown “maturity beyond his years” since being promoted to the first-team, teammate Mark Bunn has told the club’s official website.

Toner, 19, was called up to Villa’s senior squad for the first time last month after impressing with the Under-21s and went on to make his Premier League debut as a half-time substitute for Micah Richards in the 4-2 home defeat to Southampton.

The Irish defender has since started the last two games against Watford and Newcastle United, and having earned some rave reviews for his performances, the Birmingham Mail reported earlier this week that the club are now set to reward him with a bumper new contract.

Bunn has been hugely impressed by how the Republic of Ireland youth international has handled the step up to top-flight football and believes he has proven that he deserves to be a big part of the club’s plans for next season’s Championship campaign.

"Kev has been brilliant since he's been involved with us. I have been very impressed with him,” the former Norwich City goalkeeper told "He had a great game starting against Watford and I thought he was fantastic against Newcastle. I am looking for him to keep that up.

"We have some good young players in and around us - Rushian Hepburn-Murphy has been putting in some great finishes during training this week - so hopefully more come through and help us build and come back next season.

"Kev is very mature, old beyond his years - and has masses of confidence. Some young lads need an arm around the shoulder or some words of advice but not Kev. Nothing has fazed him at all. He's been tremendous."

Toner, who joined Villa from Irish outfit Home Farm in 2012, also spent a month on loan at Kidderminster Harriers earlier this season, making six starts for the National League side.

The youngster reportedly faced an uncertain future at the club only a few months ago after failing to impress former manager Remi Garde [h/t Birmingham Mail], but he now looks like he will have the chance to establish himself as a regular fixture on the backline next term.

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