Given in for the long haul

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New recruit Shay Given has wasted little time in setting big targets upon the beginning of his Aston Villa career, by claiming he can emulate World Cup winning goalkeeper Dino Zoff.

The Republic of Ireland international joined The Villans from Manchester City yesterday, to help replace Brad Friedel, who joined Tottenham Hotspur earlier this summer.

And the 35-year-old, who has signed a five-year deal, is keen to replicate the longevity of one of the world's greatest ever stoppers.

"I have not come here to rest up, I have come here to prove I am a top Premier League keeper," he said.

"I am grateful to get that length of contract but I do believe I can play for many more years - even beyond that.


"I was speaking to Trapattoni in the summer and he was talking about Dino Zoff who he had when he was 42.

"I believe if you do the right stuff in the gym and look after yourself you can play a lot longer, especially as a goalkeeper. That is my aim - to play as long as I can."

Given replaces a goalkeeper in Friedel who made 131 appearances for Villa during his three-year career at Villa Park, and he believes that he has a difficult job replacing the American.

"He has done fantastically well and Villa fans will be grateful for the fantastic service he gave to the club," Given added.

"He has gone on now to Tottenham and he had a fantastic time here so hopefully I can do something similar and be a reliable source behind the very good defence that we have."

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Premier League
Shay Given
Brad Friedel
Aston Villa

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