TEAM boss Rob Kelly last night hailed his Academy heroes after Blackburn Rovers were crowned the Under 19s champions of England.

Kelly's young guns completed a magnificent few days for the club by triumphing in their FA Premier Academy League national play-off final with Aston Villa.

Rovers won the tie 5-3 on aggregate following a 0-0 draw in last night's second leg at Villa Park.

And Kelly admitted the first team's achievements in qualifying for Europe on Sunday was the inspiration behind his own team's success.

"I'm delighted for the players. They've worked really hard all season, this is a great reward for them, and they deserve it," said Kelly.

"It's been a great season for the whole club. The most important thing was getting into the UEFA Cup because that gives us a boost as well.

"It raises the whole profile of the club, we are in Europe again.

"I think our lads used that as a spur to help them along tonight."