While Ashley Young is often grabbing the headlines for England and Manchester United at the top of the football tree in this country, 22-year-old younger brother Lewis is quietly going about his business at the other end of the spectrum with Northampton Town. Young has been a regular for the Cobblers this season and his pace and versatility are helping him make a name for himself in his own right.

Of four brothers Lewis is the second who has progressed to play professional football - and with a third expected to soon to make his mark - the Stevenage-born midfielder explained why football is such a family affair in the Young household:

"My big brother, who is older than Ashley, played football when he was younger but then went on to bigger and better things in the banking world. There is Ashley, then me, then our youngest brother who is doing really, really well.

"He is unfortunate with injuries right now but Dad and Mum say he is the best of the lot, and from what we have seen they might be right; he is very impressive. He is at Arsenal at the moment after coming through the Academy at Watford like us."

Lewis and Ashley progressed through the Hornets' famous youth system a few years apart, with big brother often keeping an eye on his younger sibling along the way.

Lewis explained: "When Ashley was coming through at Watford I was a scholar at the club, living in digs and coming into training. Ashley and I spoke every day and he would stay behind after training and do extra stuff with me. I learned a lot from just watching how he worked then. He secured a big move to Villa from there but I like to think I learned a lot from being with him day-in, day-out on top of the coaching I received."

That willingness to help younger players is something that extends beyond family ties: "Ashley said as soon as he went on to bigger clubs that he would try and take a couple of the younger lads under his wing and look after them. Ash remembers how he was treated at Watford because that is a big family club and everyone looks after one another. The older pros there when he was coming through, like Micah Hyde and Gifton Noel-Williams, were really good with him and he tried to return the favour with my age group."

It was a desire for first-team football that caused Lewis to move on from Vicarage Road in 2010.

"I played once in the League and made a couple of appearances in the League Cup for Watford. Then I picked up quite a bad injury and when I was coming back I went out on loan to Hereford to get match fit.

"I was playing every week in front of crowds and I was loving it, I got to the point where I went in to see Malky Mackay, who was the Watford manager at the time, and said that I just wanted to be playing more regularly. He understood that and spoke to the manager up at Burton and I went up there permanently in 2010. I really enjoyed my time there before moving to Northampton in the summer."

Lewis worked with current Cobblers boss Aidy Boothroyd when they were at Watford, and has nothing but praise for the way Boothroyd has treated him since they linked up again: "I was travelling a lot every week and Aidy told me that had made a really big impression on him. I was just never able to breakthrough at Watford.

"I was really pleased when he came in to Northampton and he said he was impressed by how much I have improved since I was a kid. So far I have had a good season from a personal point of view because I think I have got about 30 games under my belt, which is massive in your first season at a new club. But unfortunately as a team we haven't quite hit the mark in games. We haven't been killing teams off and that has been coming back to bite us on the bottom.

"When you know you are getting games every week you get a bit of consistency and you grow in confidence because the manager is keeping faith with you. He has been excellent. From the first day he told me, 'Look, I am not going to start comparing you to your brother because you are a completely different sort of player.'

"He has been very positive and everything he has said to me has been spot on. You work with a lot of managers over time and I had a really good relationship with Gary Johnson who bought me to the club as well, both of them have have shown confidence in me and that really helps."

The brothers try and watch each other's matches wherever possible and remain very close: "He has been to a few this season. He came to the Ipswich match in the Carling Cup and also saw me when we played at Macclesfield, plus he tries to get to Northampton for matches when he is not playing himself. He just has to sneak in through the back unnoticed!

"I try and get along to watch him as much as I can as well. I was at the Chelsea game this weekend and with them being in the Europa League now there might be the chance to see a few more of their games now.

"It definitely helps to be around that quality of player, people who are world class. I am fortunate to have Ashley as a brother. He rings me two or three times a week and is very complimentary which helps a lot. He watches DVDs of my games and tells me what I have done well, or not! He keeps telling me that I have the ability and just have to show it week-in, week-out."

The Youngs are clearly a very close-knit family and their love of football has obviously been passed down from their parents.

"Mum likes to say that all the football ability comes from her, she used to go to Chelsea as a young girl but Dad will tell you it is all down to him. He still plays the odd game now, in his mid-fifties, and if we haven't got a match we will always go down and watch him. He plays a few cameo minutes for a veterans' team, throws in the odd nutmeg and trick and tells us that is where we got it from.

"He does 15 minutes then says, 'right, that's me done' and takes himself off. All his mates tell us he was very good back in the day, but that was a long time ago now, as we'll often tell him when he can't hack it playing five-a-side with us in the summer."

Likeable Lewis is quick to praise the way that his father gave each of the brothers the best advice possible when they started out in the game:

"Even when my oldest brother started playing he said, 'I am not going to force any of you to play. If you want to do it I will be there for you. If you don't, you don't.'

"But we have all really taken to football and it is in the blood. He says that at times he is living his dreams because he is going to places he would never have been able to go, and I know he is very proud whichever one of us he is watching."

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