Villa Noise: Ladies kitted out and Benteke feeling the Heat
Paul Brown on quirky B6 stories.
26th Jun 2013
Villa Noise: Ladies kitted out and Benteke feeling the Heat


Tash Merritt, Dani Petrovic and Emma Follis are gearing up for their first season in the Women's Super League - and they really look the part.

The trio of top women players joined the male first-team stars at Bodymoor Heath for a photoshoot to promote the new home strip as part of our #ComeTogether marketing campaign.

Merritt, Petrovic and Follis joined the likes of Ron Vlaar, Christian Benteke, Brad Guzan and Andi Weimann for the snapping session.

All three are key players for boss Joe Hunt's emerging side so it was somewhat appropriate that they were selected to show off the kit for the upcoming campaign.

It's exciting times for our female stars after their application to play in the second echelon of the ladies game was accepted earlier this year.

The likes of Merritt, Petrovic and Follis - as well as Maddy Cusack, Abbeyleigh Stringer, Megan Walsh and Livy Fergusson - will do battle with teams like Doncaster Belles, Reading, Sunderland and Watford.

Teams can be promoted and relegated between the two divisions but those in the second tier cannot go down.

The Football Association hopes that the introduction of two tiers will increase competition and grow the game in more areas.

The home kit is available for female fans now.

Villa's ladies home kit - which mirrors the gents version - is currently on sale at both Villa Stores, located at Villa Park and New Street. It's also available online.

The female away kit will be on sale when the male version becomes available on July 13.

Petrovic

 

Petrovic

 

Petrovic


Andreas Weimann has been finding his "feet" on Twitter this week.

Weimann has posted two pictures containing very different footwear.

First he thanked his boot company Nike for sending him some new goalscoring gear for the upcoming term.

Weimann

And then our No.26 uploaded an image of running shoes before he hit the fields for a spot of fitness work.

Only one problem, he didn't have any appropriate footwear so had to wear a pair belonging to his mum.

Weimann

Weimann also posted his delight at the unveiling of our new away kit, which he has featured wearing as part of the #ComeTogether marketing campaign.

Weimann

While Weimann chose running as his activity of choice these past few weeks, goalkeeper Brad Guzan - our double award-winning player of the year - has been taking to the golf course to relax during his downtime from football.

He posted a picture of himself on Twitter with three pals.

Guzan

Guzan


Eric Lichaj has departed Villa for Nottingham Forest - with some online stick flying his way from Marc Albrighton.

Lichaj and Albrighton are good pals but that didn't stop Albrighton hammering the versatile full-back on Twitter for his choice of shirt on the day he was unveiled at the City Ground.

Needless to say, it was good-natured banter.

Albrighton

Lichaj

 

Lichaj

Andreas Weimann also spelled out his delight that Lichaj hadn't moved further afield than the East Midlands.

Weimann


If Christian Benteke was to take up another sport - given his size - basketball would be an obvious choice.

It's fair to say that the USA sport is a big favourite of our powerful forward.

That was proved by the picture he tweeted after watching Miami Heat win the NBA Championship.

The Heat emerged victorious for a second year in a row, becoming the first team in the Eastern Conference to repeat as league champions since the late 1990s Chicago Bulls.

The series is widely considered as a classic with LeBron James named the NBA Finals MVP, becoming the fifth star to win the award back-to-back along with Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, and Hakeem Olajuwon.

Benteke was certainly impressed and was snapped resplendent in full kit after the epic title defence.

Benteke


Murray

Andy Murray is a big fan of Christian Benteke after the man mountain striker helped him clinch victory in a family competition.

Murray wrote in his BBC Sport blog about his determined desire to succeed at Wimbledon these next two weeks as the cream of the tennis world gather.

But he also discussed his delight at triumphing in a Fantasy Football League, contested by his nearest and dearest.

Benteke was one of several players credited with making this happen.

Murray wrote: "I won easily! I think my uncle was my closest rival but I don't even know, it was over months before the season finished.

"I had Van Persie, I had Benteke, I had Lukaku, Giroud and Podolski."


Big Villa Park welcome to our new recruits who are set to begin their claret and blue adventure from Monday.

Paul Lambert will be back at base from the start of next week and will get his first chance to work closely alongside Aleksandar Tonev, Niklas Helenius, Jores Okore, Antonio Luna and Leandro Bacuna.

All five will be eager to impress as they don the new training kit, designed by Macron, for the first time on the fantastic fields of Bodymoor.

Jore Okore

 

Luna

 

Leandro Bacuna

 

Nicklas Helenius

 

Tonev

They won't be the only new faces, of course.

New coaches Scott Marshall, Michael Watts and Chris Lorkin will all start work too from Monday.

The quality of our pitches at the training ground is now under the auspices of Graeme Farmer after the departure of long-standing grounds manager Jonathan Calderwood, who has joined PSG.

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