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Former Maidstone defender Ben Swift compared to Chelsea captain John Terry and tipped to play in the Premier League for Aston Villa


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Former Maidstone defender Ben Swift has a new deal at Aston Villa Picture: Steve Terrell
Former Maidstone defender Ben Swift has a new deal at Aston Villa Picture: Steve Terrell

Former Maidstone defender Ben Swift has been tipped to play for Aston Villa's first team after turning pro with the Premier League club.

Centre-half Swift was initially offered a scholarship at Villa but instead signed a six-month professional contract on January 2.

The 17-year-old has already featured for Villa's under-21s and Jack Parkinson, his old academy boss at Maidstone, believes he'll play in the Premier League - comparing him to Chelsea captain John Terry.

Parkinson said: "Swifty's a good boy and he wants to learn.

"He's got a long way to go but with the help of the coaching team up there, I've got a feeling he'll play for the first team.

"Watching him, he reminds me of John Terry in the way he throws himself in the way of shots.

"It doesn't matter what part of his body it hits - his head, his backside, his knee - he just wants to stop the ball.

"He's an out-and-out defender and I've not seen many with his heart and desire at that age for a long time.

"If he can do a little bit of work on his feet and his distribution I think he'll make it because he's good in the air and a good size.

"I could be miles out but I've never said that about anybody else.

"He's also a rarity as a left-footed centre-half."

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