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Collymore: Final is just the start

03 Feb 2010 09:53:54

Collymore: Final is just the start

Former England and Villa striker Collymore believes Villa's crop of youngsters will benefit in the same way as Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs reaped the rewards of tasting trophy glory early in their careers at Manchester United. Villa will face the Red Devils at Wembley on February 28 in what will be their first appearance in a final since the 2000 FA Cup showpiece against Chelsea. Collymore said: "It's fantastic Villa have got to a final - but the game with United should be regarded as just the start for Villa. "The club have a lot of players who are young in terms of both age and experience and they will benefit enormously from just walking into the Wembley dressing room and being involved in such a big occasion. "It's 10 years since Villa got to a final and I do feel this can be the springboard to regular success over the next few seasons. "Martin O'Neill has built a squad based on some fantastic young players and the Carling Cup final will be an important learning curve for them. "Something tells me they will become accustomed to reaching cup finals." Collymore added: "Just like Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes when they were youngsters at Manchester United, Villa's young players need to soak up the experience of Wembley - and come back for more." Collymore played under Villa boss Martin O'Neill when he led Leicester to their 2000 triumph in the League Cup, and believes he is the ideal person to have at the helm for the battle with Sir Alex Ferguson's side. Collymore said: "Villa couldn't have a better man in charge. Martin O'Neill won the cup twice at Leicester and he will know exactly how to prepare for the final. "I know that from personal experience in 2000 and remember the way Martin motivated the players." Carling Cup 2009/10 Win Outright: Aston Villa 7/4


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