Craig Hill

Craig Hill

Craig Hill enjoyed an impressive 2012-13 season for Villa, sharing U18, U21 and NextGen Series goalkeeping duties with Brad Watkins.

The Oxfordshire-born stopper played four times in Villa's triumphant NextGen campaign.

He kept goal in wins home wins over Celtic and PSV Eindhoven, a draw away at Celtic and the magnificent 5-1 demolition of Sporting CP in Lisbon.

Hill also enjoyed an extended run for the U21s until injury curtailed his season.

The highlight of his campaign was arguably a stunning display against Sunderland in November 2012, in which he made a string of saves to help Villa to a 2-1 win. 

Hill's opportunities were limited in 2011-12 with injury ruling him out for a large part of the season.

But his big chance finally arrived when he was named in the starting XI for the U18 team's final two league games of the campaign.

After keeping a clean sheet in a 4-0 win over Portsmouth at Bodymoor Heath, Hill retained his place for the 2-2 draw against Tottenham Hotspur a week later.

Hill came highly-recommended to Villa having been released by Chelsea as an U15.

He saw some action in the 2010-11 FA Youth Cup as a substitute after Calum Barrett's unfortunate dismissal in the semi-final second leg against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

He takes his goalkeeping inspiration from Real Madrid's Iker Casillas, while his other sporting idol is Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal.

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