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.