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Premier League

Alex McLeish to meet with NFL coach at behest of Aston Villa owner


Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish is to spend the next couple of days under the wing of Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur.

The invite is at the behest of Randy Lerner, owner of Villa and NFL outfit the Browns, believing it will prove beneficial to both men.

Taking advantage of Villa's two-week break from Barclays Premier League action, McLeish will share ideas with Shurmur on topics such as player evaluation, scouting, rehab and training.

McLeish has been joined on the two-day brainstorming session at the Browns' training base in Berea, just outside Cleveland, by assistant manager Peter Grant, fitness coach Adrian Lamb, Dr Ian McGuinness and performance analyst Patrick Riley.

Chief executive Paul Faulkner told the club's official website: "When the fixture schedule allows for a break, such as this upcoming weekend, some managers may take time off to refresh ahead of the busy run to follow.

"Not for Alex. He is keen to do everything he can to push Villa forward.

"Alex is always looking for any advantage he can get and he felt this was an ideal opportunity to exchange ideas with his American counterparts at the Browns."

Shurmur has spent 13 seasons working in the NFL, initially with the Philadelphia Eagles and then the St Louis Rams before joining the Browns as head coach last year.