Villa U19 2-0 Chelsea U19: McAndrew hails his "little legends"
Tony McAndrew says his young guns will "go down in Villa academy folklore" after their glorious NextGen Series triumph.
McAndrew hailed Villa's "eleven heroes" after they won 2-0 against Chelsea to lift the trophy at the Stadio Giuseppe Sinigaglia.
The Villa coach admitted his players had to defend like lions in the first half but he was thrilled with their attacking enterprise after the break.
He said their performance - in front of first team manager Paul Lambert - was a credit to the football club.
"They have been a credit to the football club and I can't praise them highly enough," said McAndrew.
"Anyone who watched that will see. Ok they showed some grit and determination against a really good Chelsea side but we did that and came back with loads of good football and took it to them right until the death.
"In terms of the academy, they will become little legends in academy folklore which is great for them.
"They were brilliant. Again we were under the cosh for about 20 minutes in the first half but young Brad Watkins was magnificent and kept us in it.
"The lads defended and put their bodies on the lines and we came out and started playing in the second half. They were absolutely superb."
McAndrew praised match-winner Graham Burke, who had been struggling ahead of the clash with a groin injury.
But the Irish striker was declared fit to play and went on to score the two crucial penalties.
"Burkey was important," added McAndrew.
"He had a sore groin and we had to take him off the other night but he was determined to play and he was one of 11 heroes tonight.
"It was a marvellous team effort and in front of the gaffer too which is important for these kids."
McAndrew also paid tribute to several of Villa's NextGen stars - including joint top scorer Michael Drennan - who missed the finals weekend through injury.
"The likes of Mikey Drennan, big Danny Devine, Derrick Williams - I shouldn't try and name them all because I'll probably forget somebody - everyone who has played has majorly contributed to the success of the team," the coach said.
"We will not forget them. They are all a part of this."
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