Clark: I'd love to pair up with Vlaar in central defence this season
Ciaran Clark believes Ron Vlaar will be a massive asset to Villa this season - and hopes to pair up alongside him in a new-look backline.
Clark expects fearsome centre-half Vlaar to make a major impact for Villa as an "imposing presence" at both ends of the pitch.
And he's eager to forge an almighty pairing with Vlaar in claret and blue as the 2012-13 gets set for liftoff.
He said: "It's been good to meet Ron and say hello to him and chat with him. He's a top guy.
"It will be good to train with him over the weeks and months ahead.
"I am sure he will be a big presence for us at the back. He's a big lad!
"I get the feeling not only will be trying to stop goals he'll be attempting to score his fair share too. I am sure he will do that. At set-pieces that will be a massive boost for us.
"I'd love to play at the back with him. He's a Dutch international who played in the Euros.
"It would be brilliant to be alongside him in the heart of the defence.Saying that I'd be happy pairing up with any of the lads - Nathan, Dunnie, Matty. I am just looking to get in there and nail down a position."
Clark admits he's been thrilled to play such an active part in the squad over the past few seasons as a versatile ace, coming in at left-back, centre-back and centre midfield.
But he insists now is the time to make one position his own and he hopes that's in the heart of the defence.
He added: "It's a big season for me, no doubt. I have played in several positions over the past few years and I've loved being part of it and playing wherever I have been required to help the team.
"This season I am looking to push in and try and nail down a spot and hopefully this can be at the back.
"I have been playing in pre-season games and I am looking to get in and play more games than last season and make sure I have a better season, that's what I'm working towards.
"When you're coming through as a young lad you are genuinely happy being involved in the team. But there does come a point when you want to be a regular and have your position.
"I haven't complained because the likes of Dunnie, Carlos and Ginge have done brilliantly.
"A few have moved on now and hopefully it's my chance now to step in. We will have to wait and see."
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