Hourihane in dreamland as Bandon native prepares for life in the Premier League

Hourihane in dreamland as Bandon native prepares for life in the Premier League
Picture: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. 

BANDON’S Conor Hourihane will ply his trade in the Premier League next season after Aston Villa ended their three-year Premier League exile after goals from Anwar El Ghazi and John McGinn secured a 2-1 win over Derby at Wembley.

Hourihane, who has been one of Villa’s better players all season and yesterday he more than did his bit to help his side return to the Premier League will now rest for a few days before meeting up with Mick McCarthy’s Irish squad who are preparing for two upcoming European qualifiers against Denmark and Gibraltar.

Soon after the win, he tweeted “Premier League: What dreams are made of” while posing with the play-off trophy in the Villa dressing room.

Hourihane and coach John Terry. Picture: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.
Hourihane and coach John Terry. Picture: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.

A year after suffering Sky Bet Championship play-off final heartbreak at the hands of Fulham, Villa made amends as El Ghazi and McGinn headed home either side of half-time to give them control of a pulsating encounter.

Rams substitute Jack Marriott set up a tense finish by halving the deficit nine minutes from time but Villa dug in to hold on.

Victory for Dean Smith’s side in the most lucrative game in world football will pocket the West Midlands club a minimum £170m and returns them to the top flight for the first time since relegation in 2016.

Hourihane slides in on Derby County's Tom Lawrence. Picture: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. 
Hourihane slides in on Derby County's Tom Lawrence. Picture: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. 

Derby, meanwhile, suffered further late-season despair, losing in the play-offs for the fourth time in six seasons.

Hourihane, who started the final instead of fellow Irishman Glen Whelan in midfield was booked early in the final, but it did not stop him from controlling the area in front of the Villa back four as he played the holding midfield role to perfection.

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