Date: 22nd January 2008 at 3:48pm
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Herd impresses on debut

Former ECU Joondalup junior Chris Herd has made and impresses debut for his new club Port Vale after a loan move from Premier League club Aston Villa.

Herd, 18, played a key role in Vale’s 3-1 win over Millwall in a League One clash at Vale Park on Sunday, three years after starting his overseas career as a 15-year-old at Villa.

The Valiants came from 1-0 down to run out easy winners and move off the foot of the table and Coach Lee Sinnott was happy with his team performance especially Herd. He told the BBC: “They did extremely well; it’s not an easy pitch to play on here at Vale Park. I thought Chris Herd played well, he is a high-energy player and there will be more to come from him.”

Chris’s farther Willie, will fly from Perth to England this week in anticipation of watching his son line-up against Swansea on Saturday.

The youngster impressed Southampton officials during an initial trip to England as a 12-year-old — and subsequent annual spells with the Saints. The Saints were then partners in the ECU junior academy’s and he also impressed Aston Villa , and the youngster eventually signed for Villa, who have been impressed with his progress and recently offered him a new two-year deal. But it was the loan switch to Port Vale which earned the youngster his first UK league appearance.

Willie will get to see his son play four times in a fortnight, on his trip to the UK, after Swansea, Vale take on Bournemouth on Saturday week, Yeovil the following Tuesday and Bristol Rovers on February 2.

Herd Senior, who was a professional in Scotland with East Fife, Falkirk and Partick Thistle, admitted the initial decision to allow his son to sign for Villa at such a young age had not been made lightly.

Speaking to the West Australian Newspaper he told Jonathon Cook: “When he was about 14, I said to my wife that he needed to be away from Perth.

“You could see the kid was just bursting to do something better. Regardless of whether he makes it at a higher level or just becomes a professional footballer, as a dad I just want him to chase his dream. Whatever standard he plays at, I’ll be delighted.”

Former Everton defender, and former ECU Joondalup Coaching coordinator Mike Lyons, said his eagerness to succeed had put him on the path to professionalism.

“From an age of about 10 or 11, I thought he had it in him to make it,” Lyons said. “You can play him in loads of positions. And what I like about him is when you tell him something, he looks you in the eye. He listens and he has a super attitude because he wants to be a player.”

From everyone at ECU Chris good luck!!!!