CALLUM MCGREGOR has told how his spell playing alongside Jack Grealish for Notts County helped both himself and one of English football's great white hopes come of age.

McGregor starred alongside the in-demand Aston Villa skipper when they were both youngsters in Chris Kiwomya's kamikaze side back in 2013/14, a partnership in attacking midfield that would set you back untold millions these days.

The talented duo managed to keep County in League One that season after Kiwomya had been replaced by Shaun Derry, and the Celtic midfielder reckons it was an experience that went a long way to making them the layers they are today.

"I got there just before Jack did," said McGregor. "Chris Kiwomya had a really good, technical team.

"He liked to play Jack and I as inside No10s, and I would cut in from the right.

"From day one, you could see that Jack had a lot of potential. He would dribble past people as if he just jogging. He has that God-given talent where he just glides beyond defenders and we all expected him to have a great career.

"I felt he would become a top player and you can see him maturing for Villa and becoming a real talisman. It was about Jack progressing as a player and a character, but I'm not surprised at his success.

"We were a really good football team and we scored a lot of goals. The problem was that we would score four and lose five in games.

"We just couldn't defend but I loved the experience. I was a kid and early on you feel like you have no responsibility on the pitch. I would get the ball, shoot and try to score. But you soon learn you are playing with men and scoring two goals in a 4-2 defeat isn't 90 minutes' work.

"You have to go through all those building processes to come of age as a player and realise what is really important."