Young Aussie Feature: Chris Herd

Herd was born in Perth in 1989 and at the age of 15, he joined Villa

When Gerard Houllier took over the reign at Aston Villa last year, he was given the task to further nurture the exciting young talent available to him. Houllier was not afraid to give these players the opportunity and one of those who have benefitted is Australian Chris Herd.

Herd was born in Perth in 1989 and at the age of 15, he joined Villa. He was playing for Bayswater City SC but in February 2005, together with Shane Lowry, they went to Villa for a two year youth training scheme followed by a one year professional contract.

Herd who has had loan spells at Wycombe Wanderers, Port Vale and Lincoln City, made his long awaited English Premier League debut against Manchester United this season. He came on as a late substitute in the 2-2 encounter played at Villa Park. He was once again thrown into action as a substitute in Villa-s 4-2 loss to Arsenal the following weekend.

His hat-trick against Arsenal Reserves in January this year sealed a three and half years contract extension which will keep him at Villa Park till the end of the 2013/14 season. He joins Marc Albrighton, Jonathan Hogg, Ciaran Clark and Berry Bannan as the future of the Midlands club.

Prior to his debut, Herd-s involvement with the senior side was limited to an appearance on the bench in a UEFA cup tie against Hamburg in December 2008.

In the International front, Herd represented Australia in the 2009 FIFA U20 World Cup in Egypt and was recently part of the initial 50 man squad at the 2011 AFC Asian Cup.

Although he did not make the final party for the championship, he hopes that his current form will give National coach Holger Osieck something to think about in the upcoming friendly matches.