By Jonty Banks

13th Mar, 2023 | 5:10pm

Aston Villa under-18s trio highlight their first-team credentials with goalscoring success

Aston Villa Under-18s progressed to the Premier League Cup final thanks to a dramatic 3-2 win over Charlton on Saturday (11 March), with attacking trio Omari Kellyman, Rory Wilson and Kadan Young all getting their names on the scoresheet.

Kellyman’s strike fired the Young Lions into the lead just after the half-hour mark before the Addicks hit back on the stroke of half-time.

Rory Wilson’s 64th-minute penalty restored Villa’s advantage before an equaliser set up a dramatic finale to a game that had it all. It fell to 17-year-old Young to seal the cup victory with a wonderful finish just 10 minutes from time, with the attacker continuing to bang down the door for more first-team exposure.

The attacking trio look to be the future of not only the Bodymoor Heath youth setup but possibly the Aston Villa first team, and this was further evidence of the brilliant talent that the club’s academy possesses.

Possibly most exciting of the three is former Rangers youth product Wilson, who has now scored four goals in his last three outings for both the Under-21s and Under-18s.

Wilson was dubbed as “a future Aston Villa No.9” by the club’s academy manager last year and has highlighted his goalscoring talent throughout the season, notably with a hat-trick against Brentford in the FA Youth Cup. [Birmingham Live]

The 17-year-old will be looking to follow in the footsteps of Young, who has trained with Unai Emery’s first team squad during parts of the season and was given a run-out during the mid-season tour of Dubai.

The lightning-quick winger, who looks to have a maturity of a player beyond his years, has been a constant menace for Tony Carss’ Under-21s side this season and can either be deployed as a winger or a wide striker.

Although his late goal was followed by a red card in the dying embers of the match, Young will be at the back of Emery’s mind over the coming weeks with current first-team wingers Leon Bailey and Bertrand Traore both struggling for form.

Starting in behind both Young and Wilson in the Under-18s side was attacking midfielder Kellyman, who recently discovered his goalscoring boots and has been reluctant to give them up since.

The Northern Ireland youth international has now recorded four goals and two assists in his last four outings for the Villa academy and looks to be a silky and well-balanced playmaker at youth level.

What comes next for this trio of 17 year old’s at Aston Villa is still to be decided – although a host of loan moves makes the most sense – but the club need to manage their development carefully and ensure they don’t lose them to a big-six club in the near future.

In other Aston Villa news, the future of this loanee hangs in the balance as contract talks await.