Brad Young has admitted that he was to blame for an exit from West Bromwich Albion before rocking up at Midland rivals Aston Villa, while speaking to the News and Star.
When discussing the most talented up-and-comers making a name for themselves as Villa’s Bodymoor Heath training ground, much of the attention tends to focus on Louie Barry; another one-time Baggies starlet who joined Dean Smith’s side for an eye-watering £3 million when he was just 16.
But while the so-called ‘little Jamie Vardy’ did his burgeoning reputation no harm with a brilliantly-taken goal against a full-strength Liverpool in January’s FA Cup clash, it may come as a surprise to learn that he was not the top scorer for Aston Villa’s U23 side last season.
That honour went to Young who, with 21 goals in 33 games, played a starring role in the club’s Youth Cup triumph.
Will West Brom regret letting Brad Young go?
Young, like Barry, arrived on Trinity Road following a spell at West Brom. But, while the latter was spirited away from The Hawthorns by none other than La Liga giants Barcelona, the former was shown the door due to what he describes as ‘behaviour issues’.
“It was my own fault that I got released,” said Young, who is now embarking on a loan spell at a direct, uncompromising Carlisle United side in League Two.
“I kind of had behaviour issues back then. The next day I had a couple of clubs ringing me, but I fell out of love with the game at that point. I felt like it was too serious. I was just a young kid at the time.
“I went back into Saturday and Sunday league football for a year, smashed it there, and ended up getting scouted for Villa and a couple of other clubs. But Villa was local and I supported them.”
Young and Barry are not the only members of Aston Villa’s youth ranks who learned their trade some four miles down the A4040.
Tim Iroegbunam swapped the Baggies for the Villans this summer, despite winning West Brom’s 2021 Academy Player of the Year award just a few weeks earlier.