One to Watch #35: Ciaran Clark

By Dan Buxton
Last updated : 24 February 2010

                                                                   clark

Name: Ciaran Clark

Date of Birth: 26th September 1989

Position: Centre back

Club: Aston Villa

Previous clubs: None

International caps(goals): England U19 11(1)

                                                 England U20 2(1)

                                                 England U21 1(0)

Dominanting centre back who is fantastic in the air with more than little skill with the ball at his feet, Clark is destined for great things.

He captained Aston Villa's U18 side to their first ever Academy Title in 2007/8 before moving into the reserve, whom he captained to their respective title the season after, also the reserves first ever title.

After breaking his leg just before leaving school his career seemed to hanging by a thread, but from his very comeback game, from what is believed to have been a serious break, he showed commitment and a fantastic desire to win, youth coach Bryan Jones had this to say "He's got a tremendous attitude. When he broke his leg in his last year at school, it was a horrendous break.  Watching his first game back after recovery, which was a long process, the commitment of the boy to win the ball was just unbelievable. The courage he showed just epitomised what a lot of these young players have got."

He has represented Engand at U19, 20 and 21 level and captained the U19's through their 2008 European Championships qualifying before missing the tournament after picking up an injury in pre-tournament training.

His first taste of life as a professional was when he travelled to Moscow at the end of the 2008/9 season for a Europa League game. He was named as a sub but he didn't make his debut and remained an unnamed sub.

After an impressive pre-season in the summer of 2009, including a starring role in the Peace Cup, he made his first team debut in the 2-0 win over Fulham, partnering Carlos Cuella in the defence. Martin O'Neill singled him out for praise after that game, saying how he expects him to make the grade and Clark was also named in Garth Crook's BBC Team of the Week.

Although he is yet to add to that appearance, due to the form of new signings James Collins and Richard Dunne, he did sign a new contract in November 2009, taking him to June 2012.

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