Aston Villa have already begun their prep’ for the coming Spring Series and season with new deals for Amy West, Bethan Merrick and Chloe Jones.
One of undisputed stand-outs of the last couple of years in the Midlands, Beth Merrick is one of the rising stars of Joe Hunt’s Aston Villa team. A versatile attacker, Merrick can play anywhere from central midfield to winger and has done well to lead the team when given the armband. A devil behind a free kick, Merrick is always a lively and exciting player for fans to watch and the Villa faithful will be delighted to see her signed on for the future.
A mainstay at Villa, although only in the last two years made herself known, Merrick’s worth ethic has been well praised by Hunt who tips his hat to the strong season she had in 2016 with a good goal return and healthy number of assists. With a range of experience at her fingertips, Hunt joked that after a season that saw her play across the park from striker to holding midfielder and everywhere in between, she’d end up between the sticks in 2017.
One of the more senior members of Hunt’s squad, Chloe Jones is a creative outlet in the middle of the park and can boast healthy experience with Liverpool and Leicester as well as a stint in the Naisten Liiga with Åland United.
A key component of Hunt’s team for a number of years, the coach has lauded Jones’ impact on the pitch and has said she’s currently playing her “best football” in claret and blue, and really came into her own near the end of the year when she was, “sensational.” Getting Jones back into the squad was, “one of the best” moves he’s made as a coach, and Hunt has praised what she brings to the team both on and off the pitch, a hard trainer and experienced professional, Jones is always giving back to the group at Villa.
The second midfielder to commit her future to Villa is another who’s come through the ranks at the CoE, Amy West. Similarly using 2015 as her beak-out season, West has become a key figure for Hunt during her two years with the seniors, well used to the rigors of WSL 2 football and easily able to adapt to play a number of roles on the pitch.
Another versatile player, Hunt has praised not just West’s versatility but natural ability to be so adaptive and flourish no matter where he starts her, whether centre back or winger, the coach knows he’s going to get a strong showing from West.
“Delighted” was the only way Hunt to express his feelings at having all three on board for the coming season, all three bringing versatility to the pitch and a strong work ethic off of it.