Date: 8th August 2008 at 7:01pm
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Unoial Villa News…



The club have announced that The Holte will once again be ‘invitation only’ for season ticket holders on match days.

Steve Sidwell has welcomed the signing of former Reading team mate Nicky Shorey saying he is one of the best he has played with. He told the official site: ‘It’s a fantastic signing. He’s a great lad and a fantastic footballer. Technically he’s one of the best footballers I’ve ever played with and considering I’ve been at Chelsea as well, he’s up there with the best of them. He’s a great addition to the squad. We need competition and cover in those positions and he’s a great new signing. He’s got great delivery on set-pieces. He gets up and down. He’s a good defender and he’s a great addition.’ Sidwell also said he’d told MON to bring him adding, ‘The boss said to me that if it doesn’t work out, I’m the one getting the sack!’

Sidwell also said of the other arrivals, including Middlesbrough’s Luke Young ‘That’s more great news.The squad is taking shape and the boys are now really looking forward to the season.’

New boy Nicky Shorey has wished Wilfred Bouma a speedy recovery from his awful injury. ‘I think everyone in football was devastated for Wilfred Bouma. If he wasn’t injured I don’t suppose I’d be here. But I really feel for him. I’m grateful for this opportunity but you never want to get on as a result of someone else’s bad luck and I wish him all the best for a speedy recovery.’

Three Vital Villa contributions through today:

Voice of the Holte: Villa Better In Defence This Season Or Last?
YatesyVillain: Is MON a Chess Player?
John Lerwill: Villa On The Up

Friday’s Villa press talk wasn’t as dull as it has been of late. Today we had The Times linking us with Man City midfielder Michael Johnson. Another said Atletico Madrid fullback Gourkas Seitaridis was a target and a gossip site linked us to Blues Swedish international Sebastian Larsson. Full article: Friday’s Aston Villa Press Talk Hotting Up!

Fancy a trip to Iceland with the Villa? Travel To Uefa Cup Game In Style

Updated list of Martin O’Neill’s transfers to date: Martin O’Neill – Transfers To Date

Luke Young deal confirmed, a Boro fans opinion and the poll result on what sort of signing you think he is: As If By Magic, A Second New Villa Player Appears

Nicky Shorey deal confirmed, a Reading fans opinion and the poll result on what sort of signing you think he is: Nicky Shorey Completes Villa Move

Vital Villa asked, in a poll suggested by Tez86, How do you feel about the upcoming season? 50% voted: Worried – we should have the signings by now! 25% were concerned but felt we’d be fine if we make some signings! 11% are bricking it apparently! 9% were far more upbeat and voted ‘very positive, will be best season for years.’ That left 3% voting ‘Ok – Maybe lower in league but we have Europe’ and 2% fairly positive – we will match last years perform (2%) I think, if my little brain remembers, I’ll do this one again once the transfer window is complete!

Villa squad numbers (before our two new arrivals) Click Here

Under UEFA rules clubs had to register players for the second qualifying round of the UEFA by midnight on August 4, after that date only one more player can be added, so either Shorey or Young will have to sit out the UEFA Cup qualifier against Icelandic side FH Hafnarfjordur. However if we progress to the next round Villa have until Sept 1 to register all players for the UEFA Cup, so all new signings will be able to feature.

Luke Young and Nicky Shorey are both hoping to follow the trend of Villa players making the England set up. Fabio Capello was seen at Villa Park numerous times last season and brought Gareth Barry, Ashley Young and Gabby Agbonlahor into the squads. Young told the official site: ‘I think I’m at the right place at the right time. We’ve got a young English squad so Fabio Capello has every reason to come to our games. He’ll be having a look at the exciting young lads we’ve got and that will give me a chance to show what I can do. Hopefully I can force my way back into the reckoning.’ Shorey said: ‘Obviously once you play for England you want to keep on playing for England. I’ve had a taste of it and I really enjoyed it. It would be good to get back there but the first thing on my mind is trying to get into the Aston Villa team. I’ll take it one step at a time. I think it’s important for any club to have an English base and there are some quality English players here at Villa. Hopefully I can be part of that.’

Villa’s travelling army have snapped up all 2,920 tickets making the Stoke game our first sell out of the season.

Nicky Shorey told avfc.co.uk ‘Leaving Reading was not an easy decision but I don’t want to end my career with regrets.’ Adding ‘This is an exciting time for the club and hopefully we can have a good run in Europe. I want to test myself at every level and to play in the UEFA Cup will be a great opportunity. It’s amazing thinking back to my early days at Orient to now be joining a big club like this. This is a big move for me and I’m just eager to get going.’

Thought for the day: ‘Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them you’re a mile away and you have their shoes.’ (repeated but I love this one!)