Former U21 star Enda Stevens shown the door at Aston Villa
ASTON Villa have confirmed that Enda Stevens' time at the club is up as the former Ireland U21 cap was included in a mass clear-out of players which included record signing Darren Bent, writes Aidan Fitzmaurice.
Eleven young players, including current Ireland U21 cap Graham Burke, have been let go by Villa but first-teamers Bent - who has since joined Derby County - and Stevens are also gone.
Stevens, 24, joined Villa from Shamrock Rovers at the end of the 2011 League of Ireland season, where he had helped the Hoops win back-to-back league titles and also earn a place in the group stages of the Europa League.
Signed by Alex McLeish, he made his Villa debut in August 2012 and, after a spate of injuries hit the club, he got his Premier League debut in November 2012 .
The ex-UCD man would go on to make seven Premier League appearances that season.
But he fell out of favour and failed to make a single appearance for Villa in the last two seasons, spending time on loan to Doncaster Rovers and Northampton Town. League One side Doncaster may now bid to sign Stevens on a long-term basis.
Villa have also decided to axe Dubliner Burke. He had loan spells at Notts County and Shrewsbury but, apart from two League Cup appearances, he was unable to make the first team at Villa and the striker will now assess his options, including a possible move to the League of Ireland.