Talented teenager Indiana Vassilev has given his first interview to VillaTV in which he reveals the origins of his name, discusses his move to the club from the USA, his first-team debut butterflies and the highlight of his Aston Villa career to date.
The forward, soon to turn 19, impressed through the club’s youth ranks having made the switch to England, with Dean Smith duly handing him his first-team debut in January’s FA Cup third-round tie at Fulham when he was introduced as an 80th-minute substitute.
Vassilev has subsequently gone on to step off the bench in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Leicester City and Premier League encounters against Brighton and Watford.
And the likeable and confident youngster beams when recalling his personal highlight so far in a claret and blue shirt.
“It was probably Watford at home,” says Indiana.
“We were down 1-0 and I came on at 1-1 and then obviously - was it Ezri or Tyrone? I don’t know who they gave the goal to – scored and it went crazy.
“Villa Park erupted!
“It was unreal, a surreal experience.”
He added: “I stayed up until about 2-3am that night still thinking about it.
“It was great, amazing, an unreal feeling. Pure joy!”
Vassilev, who originates from Savannah, Georgia, is following in the footsteps of his father, who was a professional footballer in his native Bulgaria.
And the Villa starlet has revealed his intriguing Christian name is in fact linked to a well-known Hollywood character from world-famous movie franchise and not a US state, as some people believe.
“I was named after Indiana Jones,” he says.
“My mom and dad came from Bulgaria so they didn’t really know which states were in the US, I think there’s a common misconception.
“I was named after Indiana Jones.
“I’ve seen all the films, (my parents) were huge fans.”
Here’s hoping we can attract Harrison Ford to Villa Park to watch Indiana in the not too distant future!
You can watch Indiana’s full interview free now at VillaTV, click here.