Born leader: Clark relishing captain's role at Villa

The Ireland defender has slot into the role in recent weeks with regular captains Gabriel Agbonlahor and Ron Vlaar sidelined.

Image: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

IRELAND’S CIARAN CLARK says he’s enjoying his role as stand-in skipper at Aston Villa.

The 23-year-old London-born defender was given the armband during the 0-0 draw with Stoke earlier this month and with Gabby Agbonlahor and Ron Vlaar missing through injury, Clark led Villa to wins over Norwich and Liverpool.

Ahead of today’s meeting with Chelsea, Clark told that being captain is something that he has been tasked with from a young age.

“I was captain at youth team and reserve levels,” Clark said.

“It just seems to have happened like that. It doesn’t matter who is captain, everybody has to be a leader out there anyway.

On the pitch I do sort of bark the orders out and stuff, it is just passing on information really, trying to get everybody communicating.

“It is not something that has ever changed in my game. I think as I came through the youth team I have just always seemed to do it.

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“It is maybe one of those things that just sort of came to me.”

With doubts over the future of Richard Dunne at club and international level due to his ongoing injury problems, Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni will be pleased to see Clark’s progress under Paul Lambert this season. The former Norwich boss is building a talented young side and Clark is clearly part of his plans.

“At the start of the season when a new manager comes in you just want to try to get a place in the team and that was my only goal,” he added. ”I just wanted to try to get a starting place, I managed to do that and managed to play in all the games which has been a massive bonus to me.”

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