By Paul Brown
Shane Lowry signed a new two-year deal with Villa - on the day he was selected in Australia's provisional squad for the 2010 World Cup.
Lowry put pen to paper on the contract which ties him to the club until June 2012.
The 20-year-old defender was also named in the 31-man party for the summer showpiece by manager Pim Verbeek.
Lowry will look to make a positive impact as Australia face New Zealand in a pre-World Cup game on May 24 in Melbourne before further friendlies against Denmark and the United States ahead of their opener against Germany in the new Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Lowry, who originally signed for Villa in February 2005, had loan spells at both Plymouth and Leeds United last season.
He said: "I am absolutely delighted.
"It's been a decent season for me. I made my debut for the Villa first team in the Europa League against Rapid Vienna and also managed to get some Football League experience under my belt too with Plymouth and Leeds. And then there's been the World Cup squad announcement too.
"It's been a hectic couple of days - getting the call-up, winning promotion with Leeds and now signing my new contract. I am absolutely delighted."
Look out tomorrow for more from the Aussie starlet.