Date: 28th May 2006 at 10:49am
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Hot shot young striker Gabriel Agbonlahor signed a new three year deal last week and told the official site that he has been ‘delighted’ at how well the last few months have gone for him!

Seems he has the backing of Kevin Phillips who says Gabby can be a ‘world beater’. He told the official site: ‘Gabriel Agbonlahor scored our goal on his debut and he can be a world beater – he’s got so much pace it’s unbelievable. He’s still young and raw but he’d been doing excellently in the reserves. It was a difficult match for him to come into but he showed he could handle it at that level. I played with him in the reserves and he seems to be a quiet lad with the right attitude. As the gaffer says, the future of the club is in very good hands.’

Gabby said that he has to build on his end of season appearances and ‘make sure the gaffer keeps picking me. I want to be a squad regular next season and I want to score more goals. I made nine appearances at the end of the season and I want to push on when we get back in July. Hopefully I can get a few games under my belt early on.’

He also says the fans have been great with him adding: ‘I’ll never forget my debut (scoring v Everton at Goodison Park). The result was hard to take, but to score in my first Premiership game was massive for me. Now the big goal I’m waiting for is my first at Villa Park. Hopefully I won’t have to wait too long and hopefully it’s a good goal for the home fans.’
The 19-year-old also explained the influence former Villans Tony Daley and Gary Shaw have had on him, ‘About five years ago I used to train with Tony Daley at Bodymoor Heath. I would do sprint training with him at night, learning about technique and stuff like that. I’ve got some pace, but it was valuable to listen to a player who was so exciting when he was at Villa. He passed on a lot, but Gary Shaw also coached me. We’d be in a group with him and he would teach us finishing and runs. He helped me a lot and I still say hello to him whenever I see him at a Villa game. I really couldn’t have had two better teachers.’

17% voted for him when Vital Villa asked which Villa youngster will make the England team in the future. We’ll repeat that poll at the end of next season and mark my words, Gabby will top it!


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