Championship giants Aston Villa loaned Kelsey Mooney out to League Two Cheltenham Town in the summer and he’s scored five goals already for The Robins.

One of the main criticism that followed Steve Bruce like a bad smell during his time in charge of Aston Villa was an apparent reluctance to give youth a chance.

Villa have one of the most prosperous youth academies in English football right now but fresh-faced talents like Callum O’Hare, Andre Green, Jacob Bedeau and Jake Doyle-Hayes were never really given a chance to prove themselves in the first-team under Bruce, who was sacked in October.

Though with Dean Smith, a man responsible for the rise of Romaine Sawyers, Ollie Watkins, Neal Maupay and more, now at the helm, Villa’s next generation could come around very quickly.

And Kesley Mooney is just one of many budding hopefuls who will be fighting to catch Smith’s eye. The 19-year-old moved to Cheltenham Town in the summer and he will stand himself in good stead if he continues to impress in League Two.

Yes, massively,” Mooney told Gloucester Live when asked if he’s improved since joining Cheltenham.

“It’s not only physically and on the pitch, it’s learning in and around the environment. It’s been a big thing for me, every day hoping to pick things up and learn more and more.”

Mooney has scored five goals in all competitions for The Robins and it seems that he is benefiting from honing his trade away from the sterilised environment of academy football.

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