Wednesday media watch [22.05.13]: Petrov appointed/Vlaar confident
Clubcall: Aston Villa have confirmed recently retired Stiliyan Petrov will take up a new role as assistant to development coach Gordon Cowans. The 33-year-old Bulgarian announced his retirement earlier this month having spent over a year out of the first team, battling acute leukaemia. Petrov is in remission and has been charged with helping Cowans nurture Villa's future talent.
BBC Sport: Former Aston Villa club captain Stiliyan Petrov has accepted a new role as an assistant to the club's development coach Gordon Cowans. The 33-year-old announced his retirement on 9 May, having battled successfully against acute leukaemia. He made 218 appearances for Villa in all competitions and earned 92 caps for Bulgaria in a career spanning 17 years. "I'm very excited and I wish to thank the club and manager for giving me the opportunity," Petrov said.
ITV Football: Aston Villa have confirmed recently retired Stiliyan Petrov will take up a new role as assistant to development coach Gordon Cowans at the club's academy. The 33-year-old Bulgarian announced his retirement earlier this month having spent over a year out of the first team, battling acute leukaemia. Petrov is in remission and has been charged with helping Cowans nurture Villa's future talent.
Express & Star: West Brom and Aston Villa posted improved attendances this season - as Premier League crowds rose by four per cent. Supporters ignored the country's cash crisis in the top flight as the UK narrowly avoided a triple-dip recession during the first quarter of 2013. Attendances rose on average to 35,975, up from 34,601 in 2011-12 with the Baggies and Villa prospering. Albion's crowds were up from 24,798 to 25,359 as they claimed eighth, their highest Premier League finish. Villa's attendance rose from 33,873 to 35,059 as fans bought into Paul Lambert's philosophy with the claret and blues finishing 15th in the Premier League.
Goal.com: Aston Villa captain Ron Vlaar is already looking ahead to next season, when he believes his side will be even stronger. Villa finished the campaign in 15th place, five points clear of the relegation zone. For a time it looked as though the Midlands club could drop into the Championship, but a good run that included a 6-1 win over Sunderland saw them safe. Vlaar was one of the oldest members of an inexperienced team at the age of 28, and is confident that with a full season behind them, the squad will be better prepared in August.
Clubcall: Skipper Ron Vlaar is already looking forward to next season as he believes Aston Villa 'can do a lot better'. The 28-year-old central defender joined Villa from Feyenoord last summer and endured a difficult debut campaign in the Premier League as Paul Lambert's side battled to avoid relegation for the most part. However Vlaar is in no doubt that their end-of-season form which saw them finish five points clear of the drop zone in 15th position can be carried forward to next season and ensure a much better campaign for the players and fans alike.
*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.