Writer: Ian Clarkson
Date:Monday October 6 2008
www.givemefootball.com have an exclusive interview with Ashley Young which they have given Vital Villa permission to use:
Ashley Young - Aston Villa: Exclusive PFA interview
Ashley Young: Part One of our exclusive interview with one of England's rising stars
By Ian Clarkson October 06, 2008
Ashley Young is the perfect example of how Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill has been bucking the trend in the Premier League by nurturing young English talent instead of leaning on foreign stars.
Despite yesterday's defeat to Chelsea, Young is one of a group of up and coming home-grown players who are turning Villa into dark horses for a top four finish this season, as well as staking a claim to play a key role in Fabio Capello's 2010 England World Cup campaign. O'Neill is already bringing out the best in players like Gabby Agbonlahor, Craig Gardner and Curtis Davies and if you add that to the experience of players like Martin Laursen, John Carew and Brad Friedel and O'Neill is making his Premier League rivals sit up and take notice. However, after a drawn-out saga which saw Gareth Barry fail to complete a proposed move to Liverpool last summer, the Villa manager is determined to tie his best players to long-term contracts and Young is about to sign a new deal 18 months after arriving from Watford.
Villa's stylish winger spoke to givemefootball's Ian Clarkson and told him why Villa can help him realise his ambitions. There'll be more from Ashley tomorrow....
WHEN DID IT FIRST OCCUR TO YOU THAT MARTIN O'NEILL WAS BUILDING A SPECIAL TEAM AT VILLA?
From the first day I came here, the first day of training. The minute I spoke to him, I knew he was a top manager. Speaking to other people, no-one’s ever had a bad word to say about him. You just have to look at his track record and it speaks for itself. He has goals to do well in the league and cups so if everyone's going down that line then the club can move on. The gaffer knows every player and how to deal with each one. Sometimes they need a telling off or just a quiet word in their ear. He can be rough at times…. gentle at others. But he's a top manager; everyone wants to do well for him. He instils the mentality of doing well into you.
THERE ARE REPORTS OF A NEW FOUR-YEAR CONTRACT FOR YOU, WHAT IT THE SITUATION WITH THAT?
Talks are ongoing and progressing well. Am I happy to commit myself? Definitely. I have another two or three years to go on my current deal, the club came to me and it is flattering. I am delighted the gaffer wants to offer me a new deal and that I am in talks about a new contract.
YOU'RE AMBITIOUS BUT DO YOU SEE VILLA SATISFYING THOSE AMBITIONS?
Of course, I wouldn’t have come here otherwise if I didn’t think I could I could make myself a better player. The next thing is to break into that top four. We're sitting fifth now, and we want to do better than last season. I am an ambitious person and I can achieve what I want do at Villa. I have a lot of goals and things I want to do in my career, Villa will help me do that. There are a number of goals I've ticked off in my head which I will always keep to myself. I am really happy. All the coaches I've worked with have helped my game and brought it on in leaps and bounds. I can only thank them.
ALL PLAYERS WANT TO WIN THINGS THOUGH DON'T THEY? ARE VILLA CAPABLE OF THAT?
Yes, of course, Villa are a massive club. We needed to be back in Europe and now we're in the UEFA Cup group stages. The club has a great history and won the European Cup, for a player to keep seeing that means it is something you want to be involved in. You want to win it. Fingers crossed we keep going the way we are. It’s hard but if you keep working at it there’s going to be a time when we can break into the top four.
With thanks to www.givemefootball.com The Official Website of The Professional Footballers Association
Date:Monday October 6 2008
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