Dean Smith named a much-changed side against Barrow.
Cameron Archer is hungry for more after the teenager scored a hat-trick and was named man of the match on a dream first start for Aston Villa
Dean Smith named a much-changed side against Barrow in the Carabao Cup second round, including handing three academy graduates their full debuts.
Carney Chukwuemeka, 17, and Jaden Philogene-Bidace, 19, were joined by star man Archer, who took home the match ball after grabbing a hat-trick on a night to remember in Cumbria.
“It’s amazing, an amazing feeling,” the 19-year forward said.
“Since I was a young boy I’ve always dreamed of this moment. To get my first professional hat-trick I’m just delighted.
“Definitely a dream. A dream since I was a young boy. I can’t wait to go again.”
Archer joined Villa at the age of eight, with his only previous competitive appearance for the club coming against Crewe in the Carabao Cup two years ago.
The forward spent a spell on loan at non-league Solihull Moors last term and, while he says the win at Barrow was a bit of a blur, he is determined to kick on.
“It’s a confidence boost,” Archer told the club website. “Training with them just makes you an even better player and to be on the pitch is just amazing.
“(The experienced players) helped me a lot.
“Conor (Hourihane) kept talking on the pitch all the time and when I moved to left wing Tigs (Matt Targett) helped me a lot as well. All of them.”
Archer somewhat got the nod in attack over Brazilian striker Wesley, who is reportedly close to making a loan return to Club Brugge.
But the 19-year-old took his chance and assistant manager Craig Shakespeare said the opportunity was no less than he deserved.
“We went on a pre-season training camp and he came down and did really well – caught everyone’s eye with his enthusiasm and goalscoring ability,” he said.
“We talked about the development of young players and he got the opportunity tonight, and boy did he take it.
“I’m so pleased for him, as I was with the team overall. For him to get his hat-trick, it’s great for him.”
Villa will find out their third round opponents on Wednesday night as they look to go all the way in a competition they reached the final of in 2019/20.
“You enter any competition to do well and to try and win it,” Shakespeare added.
“The further down the line you go, the more opportunity you have of getting to the final. We have been in the final not so long ago, and the idea is to progress as far as we can.”
While Villa look forward with excitement, Barrow boss Mark Cooper wants the cash boost brought by the tie against Villa to help his side off the field after a “crap” night.
“The only positive is the money the club can earn,” he told BBC Radio Cumbria.
“We need that put into the infrastructure so the players can prepare properly, train properly and we make sure we give them more of an opportunity to compete. We’re not doing that at the minute.
“It’s frustrating. We’re nomadic. We’ve got a shiny gym that we can go to but we don’t have a grass pitch and it’s frustrating for me because I’m a coach and I want to work the players properly.
“But they’re not fit enough to be able to work at the intensity we need, so it’s difficult.”