Back at Bodymoor: Villa players set to return to training
Villa's first team players return for pre-season training at Bodymoor Heath today.
The likes of Andi Weimann, Ashley Westwood, Gabby Agbonlahor and Fabian Delph will be back as the lads gear up for the 2014-15 campaign.
They will be joined by newboy Joe Cole, signed this summer on a free transfer.
The former Chelsea and Liverpool star will have his first chance to meet the players as he looks to integrate ahead of the coming term in claret and blue.
Also joining the players will be new No.2 Roy Keane, who will link-up with Paul Lambert before heading out on to the training fields to assess the players.
It will be an exciting day, too, for Jores Okore, who missed most of the previous campaign with a serious knee injury.
Dane Okore will be desperate to start the new season brightly and the best way to do this is by strong showings at Bodymoor Heath in the run-up to the new term.
Callum Robinson, Gary Gardner and Janoi Donacien - three starlets who have just penned new two-year deals - will also be eager to impress as they return to their football home.
Ron Vlaar obviously won't be back as he continues in his quest to win the World Cup with Netherlands.
Vlaar has been a standout star for the Dutch, playing every minute of their Brazil adventure.
Lambert's Villa start their pre-season schedule at Mansfield Town's Field Mill on Thursday, July 17 [KO 7.45pm].
The squad will then travel to Texas for a pre-season tour, playing FC Dallas on Wednesday, July 23 [KO 8pm] and Houston Dynamo on Saturday, July 26 [KO 8pm].
The team will play Chesterfield at the Proact Stadium on Wednesday, July 30 [KO 7.45pm] and will then travel to the Netherlands to play Leandro Bacuna's former club, Groningen, on Saturday, August 2 [KO 5pm].
Villa will then return to the Banks's Stadium to play Walsall on Tuesday, August 5 [KO 7.30pm] before entertaining Parma at Villa Park ahead of their Barclays Premier League curtain raiser at Stoke's Britannia Stadium on Saturday, August 16.
Look out for an exclusive photo gallery of the players being put through their paces on the official website on Monday PM.
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