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Under-23s set for Premier League 2 opener at Aston Villa

13 August 2018

Norwich City Under-23s begin their 2018-19 Premier League 2 Division 2 campaign on Monday evening when they take on Aston Villa at the Banks's Stadium (7pm KO).

City finished seventh in the league table last season and only missed out on the end-of-season play-offs by two points.

Whereas Villa went even closer than the Canaries but they were beaten in the play-off final by Brighton and Hove Albion.

Matt Gill's side beat the Villains in their last competitive game, a 1-0 win at Villa Park back in April, and the Development Squad Head Coach wants more of the same.

"It's a great start for us. They narrowly missed out on promotion to Brighton so it's always a tough game against them," said Gill.

"They're always a good side. We've watched some of their footage from pre-season and they played some really good football.

"It will be a really tough opening game but the lads are really looking forward to it.

"It's been a real long pre-season and the lads have worked really hard. They're all looking forward to it getting underway."

It's a new-look Under-23s group this season. Aston Oxborough, Max Aarons and Todd Cantwell have moved up to the first-team with Tristan Abrahams, Adam Phillips and Savvas Mourgos looking to enhance their skills out on loan.

New signings Caleb Richards, Ciaren Jones, Tom Scully have joined up with Gill's squad, as well as Adam Idah, Saul Milovanovic and Jordan Thomas who have moved up from the age-group below.

Centre-back Timi Odusina says the dynamic in the squad will stand them in good stead this season.

"They've all settled in really well. We have quite a tight group and the new guys have integrated really well," he said.

"We've tried to make the new lads feel at home and on the pitch, you can say each of them has brought something new to us.

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