Shrimpers trial Villa duo

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SOUTHEND UNITED have handed trials to Aston Villa youngsters Jay Smith and John McGrath.

McGrath, a 22-year-old midfielder, and Smith, 20 and also a midfielder, have both been given permission by manager Graham Taylor to train with The Shrimpers.

"John McGrath and Jay Smith have gone to Southend for a few days training, so that Southend can have a look at them," Taylor confirmed.

"It may lead to something, we'll have to wait and see."

McGrath has played twice for Villa's first team, making his debut on New Years' Day 2001 against Chelsea, whilst Smith is yet to make the breakthrough at Villa Park.