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Key Villa ladies sign renewed deals

Beth Merrick, Amy West and Chloe Jones staying at Villa

Aston Villa Ladies have announced the renewal of deals with three key players in the squad, in Beth Merrick, Amy West and Chloe Jones.

The re-signing of Merrick, the Villa Ladies top scorer in the 2016 Woman's Super League 2 and often stand-in captain in the absence of Katy Moran is a huge boost.

Midfielder Amy West is a product of Villa's centre of excellence, who became a prominent part of the side in 2015 and has filled in a number of positions in the side.

Fellow midfielder Chloe Jones returned to Villa from Finland in 2016, having come to Birmingham from Liverpool in 2013.

The signings will be a boost to the side as they come back from the Christmas break, with their first challenge the FA Cup Third Round tie against Cambridge United on February 5.

That comes a week before the kick-off of the FA WSL2 Spring Series which will bridge the transition of the regular league from a summer schedule to a more traditional autumn start.

Villa Ladies made it to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup last time out and will be looking to go further this time round.

For those looking to support the Villa Ladies this season, they're playing their home matches at the ground of Tamworth FC and are hosting a friendly on January 15 against Durham, entry just £3.