Club: Aston Villa
Position: Centre Back
Date of Birth: September 26th 1989
Place of Birth: Harrow, England
Height: 183 cm
Previous Club(s): None
A long servant of many an Aston Villa academy team, Ciaran Clark is a leader and pretty assured defender who is pushing to take the next step into professional football. He captains Villa’s Reserves and the England Under-19 team and whilst being on the verge of the first-team squad under Martin O’Neill, he’s not quite there yet.
He’s composed and dependable, playing classy football with solid defending. He’s an incredible captain, leading by example and is the sort of player to push a team forward. It’s therefore unsurprising that under his lead, Villa have had successes in the Under-18 and Reserve leagues. In the Reserves, when up against experienced professionals, he has dealt with them admirably.
Perhaps the only major thing holding him back is his slight physique. He’s got decent height but could do with filling out a little in order to truly contest successful battles against the biggest strikers the game has to offer. He’s had two full-time years since signing his professional deal and with a number of impressive defenders at Villa, a loan spell might be the best path to take for Ciaran to develop his excellent potential.
Being too old, and indeed too good for academy football, Clark has spent the year in the Reserve team developing, as Villa take charge of the Reserve League South. Turning 20 at the start of next season he’ll want to use the end of the season to impress and earn a move on loan, or push further into Martin O’Neill’s plans. In February he was given the number 47 shirt and a substitutes bench place against CSKA Moscow in the UEFA Cup but didn’t get onto the pitch.