By Paul Brown
Andreas Weimann insists Villa's young lions are all eager to "steak" a claim for a spot in Alex McLeish's first XI - even if housemate Eric Lichaj is keeping their hunger off the pitch at bay.
Weimann says there's a really close bond between the training ground's youthful charges, which also include Chris Herd, Barry Bannan and Ciaran Clark.
The band of Bodymoor brothers are constantly bantering with each other on social media site Twitter - and, more importantly, pushing each other on in their quest for regular first team berths.
In fact, Weimann and Lichaj are housemates.
Their intense hunger to succeed at senior level may not be totally fulfilled yet but their stomachs are never empty thanks to Lichaj's "legendary" cooking skills.
Lichaj prepares a superb steak, tailored to the individual tastes of his professional pals.
Weimann said: "We live together and that's been good. Eric loves cooking and he's really good to be fair.
"I am more than happy for him to cook for us. I've been impressed.
"There's a few of us - Herdy, Barry, Eric, Ciaran - we get on great. We're good pals.
"We've got a close bond and that's because we've come through the youth ranks here at Villa.
"We're together every day. We're best mates and we love each other's company.
"And we push each other on when it comes to the serious business in training. We all want to succeed and do well here at Villa. We want each other to do well too.
"It's brilliant to be with such a great group of lads.
"Our bond helps in play too. You have an understanding. You must remember we have been here for at least five years together, some even longer. That counts for something on the field."
Lichaj, when quizzed about his culinary expertise, grinned and added: "I cook a really good steak - a mean steak!
"They're all aware of it. Ask any of them! Check it out with Enda, Chris, Andreas, Baz, any of the young lads. I cook it however they prefer it. I've never had a complaint!"
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