Aston Villa youth academy graduate Lewis Kinsella won't be joining Aston Villa in the Championship, as his contract is not being renewed by the club.
Kinsella announced the news on his Twitter, posting:
Thank you for all the support ! pic.twitter.com/SDFaB6iGag— Lewis Kinsella (@Lewis_kinsella) May 11, 2016
It's hard not to feel sorry for the guy. He joined the club in 2011 aged 17 and was an integral part in the U21 team in recent seasons, including the one that triumphed in the NextGen series. He even made the senior match day squad on a few occasions in February of last year when the club dealt with an injury crisis, though he never made a competitive senior appearance.
This season, Kinsella spent time on loan at Kidderminster Harriers, but the left back's 13 appearances weren't enough to prevent the club's relegation from the National League. He then returned to Villa just as they too were relegated. Talk about a rough break.
Obviously, it's always a little sad to see youth players depart the club, especially ones that showed promise at times. But to be completely realistic, Kinsella couldn't find a place in a left back slot occupied by Aly Cissokho (and even Leandro Bacuna), so whilst many may criticise Villa for releasing him, I'm not entirely sure he had a future at the club anyways.
All the best Lewis, and I hope you land on your feet and prove us wrong.