Date: 27th July 2008 at 11:13am
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Brad Friedel has spoken of his agonising decision whether to leave Rovers.

The 37-year-old US international keeper agreed to a 3-year-deal at Villa moving from Blackburn Rovers where he had legend status amongst the Rovers supporters, as highlighted with our interview with the Vital Blackburn editor Walker: Blackburn Fans ‘Gutted’ At Brad Friedel Departure

Friedel told the official site he has a feeling that Villa are ‘going places’ which is why he chose to move but admits he agonised whether to leave Blackburn:

‘Making this move was a very easy decision and a very difficult decision to make all at the same time. I’d been at Blackburn eight years and this was going to be my ninth season. The fans and everyone at the club have been terrific with me. In saying that I’m really excited to be here at Aston Villa. Being able to work with these players, with Martin O’Neill and with Mr Lerner is exciting for me. I’ve really got the feeling this club is going places and that’s the main reason why I’m here.’

He also says Martin O’Neill was the main factor in deciding to move even though much has been made of the connection he has with the Cleveland Browns and the obvious US connections with Randy Lerner.

‘But it was all down to Martin and the ambition of the club. Also Martin’s relationship with is chairman, the tremendous players here and the other players they want to bring in to make the squad bigger, stronger and better.’

He also says despite the links to Manchester City it was only ever Aston Villa he was interested in moving to adding ‘Aston Villa were ever so professional in the manner that they dealt with everything and I couldn’t be happier. I’m very pleased to be here.’

He now has his sites set on helping Villa move from 6th to 4th or 5th.

The quote in bold about players Villa want to bring in. I wonder if he has been told some of the targets and convinced that we mean business by the players we want?!?

Friedel is also interviewed on AVTV, the subscription channel available on the official site.