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Ashley Simon Young (born 9 July 1985 in Stevenagemarker, Hertfordshiremarker) is an Englishmarker football who currently plays as a winger or second striker for Aston Villa. Young has a younger brother, Lewis who plays for Watford.

Club career

Watford

Despite having been turned away by Watford's Academy after an unsuccessful spell, Young endeavoured to improve himself as a player and was eventually offered a professional deal by the club. The 18-year-old was handed his first team début under Ray Lewington in September 2003, scoring as a substitute against Millwall. He achieved five substitute appearances that season, scoring three goals, and made his first start for the club in the League Cup. Young came to prominence in the 2004-05 season, playing a part in 34 of Watford's league matches as they struggled to survive in the Championship. Although he failed to find the net, he supplied several assists. His performance during this season earned him the club's Young Player of the Season award.

Under Aidy Boothroyd in the 2005–06 season, Young was given a new lease of life as a striker. Young started 41 League matches, finding the net 15 times,including a playoff semi-final goal against Crystal Palace, as Watford qualified for the playoff and eventually beat Leeds United 3–0 to gain promotion to the Premier League.

Young began Watford's 2006/2007 Premier League season well, scoring 3 times, including a last minute, long-range strike against Fulham. In the January 2007 transfer window, three clubs made £5 million offers for the Under-21 International. Watford rejected these approaches, as well as (as of 12 January 2007) an offer of £7 million, again from an unnamed club

An improved offer of nearly £10 million from West Ham United was accepted. However, Young rejected the move, opting to wait for offers from clubs for whom relegation was not an issue.

Aston Villa

Young at an open training session at Villa Park
On 18 January 2007, Aston Villa had an £8 million offer (rising to £9.75 million with add-ons), accepted — the club's record transfer fee. This allowed manager Martin O'Neill and the Aston Villa board to discuss personal terms with the player. Two days later O'Neill confirmed the player had agreed to join the club. Young underwent a medical on 21 January and the signing was confirmed on 23 January 2007. On 31 January, he went on to score in his debut for Villa at St James' Parkmarker against Newcastle United, but Villa went on to lose 3–1. Ashley Young started the 2007-08 season well, receiving several Man of the Match awards. The good start was highlighted by his callup to the England Squad.

On 20 April 2008, Young scored 2 goals and assisted two goals for Aston Villa against Birmingham City at Villa Parkmarker and Villa went on to win the game 5–1. He also scored the winner against Danish side Odense Boldklub in Villa's home leg of the Intertoto Cup 3rd round.

In the 2007–08 Premier League season, Young finished second to Cesc Fàbregas in assists with 17. Young was included in the Premier League Team of the Year, and apart from Portsmouth's David James, he was the only other player who did not come from any of the 'Big Four' (Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United) to make it into the best XI of the season. He is known for his pace, set pieces and ability to pass and shoot.He is also well known for cutting back onto his right foot and 'whipping' the ball into the penalty area.

On 10 October 2008 Ashley Young won the Player of the Month award. This was due to his performances in the 2008–2009 Premier League campaign. Having also won the award in April 2008, Young joins the list of players who have won the award more than once including Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard. On 7 December 2008 in the 3-2 win over Everton, Young scored two goals, one being an injury time winner after Everton's Joleon Lescott had equalised seconds earlier putting his tally for the season up to five. Manager O'Neill later described the player as being 'world-class' in the post-match press conference. Ashley Young signed a new four-year contract until 2012 on the 4 November 2008.. On 10 January 2009 Young was again awarded Player of the Month for December along with manager Martin O'Neill, who won the Manager of the Month award. He became the first ever player to win three FA Premiership Player of the Month awards in the same year. During a match against Sunderland on 18 January 2009, Young was sent off for a two-footed foul on Sunderland's Dean Whitehead..

Young appeared for Villa at the 2009 Peace Cup in Andalusiamarker. He scored a header that was to be the third and final goal in a Group C match against Atlante as Villa triumphed 3-1. This was also the goal that sent Villa through to the knockout stages due to their superior goal difference in comparison to fellow group members Atlante and Málaga. After helping Villa defeat Portuguesemarker side Porto in the semi-final, Ashley Young scored a penalty in the final as Villa overcame Italiansmarker Juventus. Villa won 4-3 on penalties, after the game had finished 0-0 in normal time. Young's performances in Spainmarker earned him praise in the media, with Goal.com naming him their top player of the tournament. On 24 August 2009 Young scored a penalty as Aston Villa won 3-1 against Liverpoolmarker at Anfieldmarker. He did, however, go on to miss a penalty on 27 August 2009 in a home tie in the UEFA Europa League against Rapid Wien. Young won two penalties in the first half of the game (one that he missed, the other that was converted by James Milner) despite Aston Villa being eliminated from the tournament on away goals rule.

International career

As a result of his form for Watford during the 2005–06 season, in February 2006 Young earned a call-up to Peter Taylor's England U21 League squad to face an Italian Serie B squad alongside team-mate Chris Eagles. Young started alongside Eagles in the 1–0 win, playing the first half. His continued form into the 2006-07 season earned him a first England U21 call-up to face Switzerland U21 in September 2006. Young played the last 15 minutes of the match as England scored a late goal to win 3–2, topping their group, and reaching a playoff for a place in the 2007 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship. At the finals Young played three times. He took part in the epic semi-final shootout against hosts Netherlands, scoring twice in the shootout as England lost 13-12.On 31 August 2007, Steve McClaren called Young up to the full England squad for the first time to face Russia and Israel in the Euro 2008 qualifiers. He was again called up for the Euro 2008 qualifiers to face Estonia and Russia. On 16 November 2007 Young finally made his international debut and came on as a half-time substitute for England in a friendly against Austria. He has since appeared in the England Friendly against Germany in November 2008, coming on as a second half substitute. He was also part of the starting XI in Capello's England squad in the friendly against Holland at the Amsterdam Arena on 12 August 2009.

Personal

Young was born in Stevenagemarker, Hertfordshiremarker to a Jamaicanmarker-born father and English mother. He has one older brother and two football-playing younger brothers, Lewis, who made his debut for Watford in 2008, and Kyle, who in April 2009 was training at the Arsenal Academy. Young attended the John Henry Newman Schoolmarker in Stevenage, and played school football alongside Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton, who was in the same year.

Young's father supports Tottenham Hotspur, while Young himself, like his older brother, favoured Arsenal. His hero and "role model on and off the pitch" was Ian Wright.

Career statistics

Last Updated: 25/08/09



Career Statistics
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup European

Total
Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists
Aston Villa 09-10 12 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 14 3 3
08-09 36 7 9 3 0 1 1 0 0 8 2 4 48 9 14
07-08 37 9 17 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 38 9 17
06-07 13 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 13 2 3
Total 98 19 31 4 0 1 1 0 0 10 2 4 112 23 36
Watfordmarker 06-07 20 3 3 1 0 0 2 1 2 0 0 0 24 4 5
05-06 42 14 13 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 43 15 13
04-05 34 0 1 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 38 0 1
03-04 5 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 6 3 0
Total 102 20 17 2 1 0 7 1 2 0 0 0 110 22 19
Career Totals 200 39 46 6 1 0 8 1 2 10 2 4 222 43 55


Honours

Watford
2004–05
  • Watford Young Player of The Season


2005–06
  • Championship Play-Off Winner
  • Championship PFA Team of the Year


Aston Villa


2007–08
  • Member of PFA Team of The Year
  • Player of the Month Award (April)


2008–09
  • Player of the Month Award (September)
  • Player of the Month Award (December)
  • PFA Young Player Of The Year Award
  • Member of PFA Team of The Year


2009–09

References

External links




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