Herd pens new Villa contract

Herd, who made his Premier League debut against Manchester United
earlier this season, has committed himself to Villa until the
summer of 2014. The 21-year-old becomes the latest Villa Academy
product to put pen to paper on a new deal after Marc Albrighton,
Barry Bannan, Ciaran Clark, Jonathan Hogg and Gary Gardner. Perth
born Herd, who joined Villa as a 15-year-old, was included in
Australia’s squad for the current Asian Cup although he did not
make the final party. He can play in central midfield or full-back
– the position he was occupying when scoring a hat-trick for the
reserves in a 10-1 win over Arsenal on Monday. Herd said: “When I
got offered the contract, it wasn’t a difficult decision to make at
all. “A few of the other boys have done really well and have all
signed contracts so it is nice to follow in their footsteps. “When
you get that taste (of the first team) you want more and it spurs
you on.” Herd’s first senior involvement was as a substitute in the
UEFA Cup tie against Hamburg in December 2008. He has had loan
spells at Wycombe, Port Vale and Lincoln to help with his
development.