Stiliyan Petrov has vowed to help Villa's future generation play with "courage and confidence" after revealing he is loving every minute of his new coaching role.
Former skipper Petrov was in the dugout for the first time this week in his new position as assistant development coach with the club's U21 team.
He and head coach Gordon Cowans oversaw pre-season friendly victories over Enfield and Boldmere St Michaels.
Although Petrov is only three weeks in to his first coaching job, he is already enjoying passing his knowledge on to the claret and blues youngsters.
"It is completely different to what I'm used to do but I'm enjoying every minute of it," said the Bulgarian.
"When I was playing I was hardly getting a breather! Now it is quite nice and relaxing - you can stop and have a water!
"I know how hard it is for the young boys. You expect them to make mistakes but we don't want them to be too bothered by that.
"Everyone makes mistakes - that is what football is about. That is what makes you better.
"We try to get them to play with courage and confidence.
"I enjoy working with these young boys. We've got some great talent here and the main thing is pushing them to be in the first team.
"They have got a long way to go, but they've got the talent and they've got the ability."
Petrov, who retired from playing at the end of last season following a battle with acute leukaemia, says Villa legend Cowans has been hugely supportive in helping him make the transition from player to coach.
The 34-year-old has already learned plenty from the likes of Cowans and youth team manager Tony McAndrew.
"Gordon is a great man," added Petrov.
"I don't think I have the words to describe him. He helped me so much in that period of going from a player to a coach, showing me everything.
"We share ideas about how to play football and how to develop the young players. It's working really well so far and he has been a great help.
"The club has great people here and they help me.
"If I get something wrong they understand and they try to help straight away.
"Everybody is helping - Tony McAndrew, the manager, everyone is working in the right direction.
"I have been on the other side as well and I want to see these young boys enjoying playing football because a career can be a short thing."
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