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Vlaar aims to follow in the footsteps of Laursen and McGrath

Amazing £1 ticket offers for top-flight games with JV-Life scheme Season tickets on sale as Vlaar looks to wow Villa faithful
Vlaar aims to follow in the footsteps of Laursen and McGrath

Ron Vlaar is determined to follow in the footsteps of Villa's great centre-halves of yesteryear after completing his transfer from Eredivisie runners-up Feyenoord.

The 27-year-old Dutch international has completed the formalities of a three-year deal which will take him up to the end of the 2014-15 season.

He is the club's fourth new signing of this transfer window following the arrivals of Matt Lowton from Sheffield United, Vlaar's former Feyenoord team-mate Karim El Ahmadi and fellow Eredivisie veteran Brett Holman from AZ.

The club have also re-signed goalkeepr Brad Guzan to a new three-year deal this summer.

Vlaar was an ever-present for Feyenoord last season and he captained the side as they clinched Champions League football with their highest finish in more than a decade.

Having become a cult figure at the Dutch club, he intends to cultivate a similarly strong relationship with Villa fans and will be unveiled officially on Friday afternoon at Villa Park where he is looking forward to meeting supporters.

"I am looking forward to following in the footsteps of players such as Paul McGrath, Olof Mellberg and Martin Laursen, of course - all of them great players for this club," Vlaar declared.

"But I also do things for myself because I want to get the very best out of myself. I can't do it alone, I also need the other players in the team as well as the fans, who are so important. By us all working hard for one another, we can achieve our goals.

"We must work together to make things better and to get good results. We have to do it on the pitch and, with the support of the fans, we can get it going together.

"Over time I hope my relationship with the fans at Villa becomes the same as it was at Feyenoord. I was at Feyenoord for seven years and the fans were good for me. It would be great to experience the same here and I will strive to achieve this."

Paul Lambert is convinced that Vlaar's class and pedigree will make the Dutchman an instant hit in the Premier League.

"Ron is a really good defender and he has a wealth of experience for both Holland and a big football club in Feyenoord, so I'm delighted we have got him here to Villa," the manager said.

"I like the way the guy wants to do well. He's hungry and he wants to succeed. He's also a really good, strong defender and hopefully we will get the benefit of him in our team.

"Certainly, I have no worries about his career so far. He's captained Feyenoord, who finished second last season in the Dutch Eredivisie to qualify for the Champions League, and he's been in the Dutch international set-up and was part of the Euros, so he's a proper player.

"He'll bring something to the club, no doubt about it."

Vlaar has been capped nine times for Holland [scoring one international goal] and he aims to build on this total, firmly convinced that his best years will be at Villa Park.

"I am very happy to be here and I am really excited about getting started," he added.

"This is a dream come true for me. With my past, I am very proud but I always look forward and this is a great opportunity. I am very happy that Villa have given me this chance.

"For me, I want to play a lot and improve my play and do well with the team. That's most important.

"I am 27 years old and I know my best years are ahead of me. I feel fit and strong and I am looking forward very much to playing my first game.

"I have had good conversations with the club and with the manager. I am looking forward to training under him and seeing what we can do together.

"I know some of Villa's history and I have been in the stadium already and saw all of the pictures of great achievements - it's great. I really believe we can bring the happiness back. The stadium is fantastic. I've only seen it so far when there were only a few people around, so I know it will be terrific when it is full of Villa supporters.

"I am looking forward to starting training with the squad and then playing, of course. I think there is a lot of quality here and, if we play like we can as a team, we will make it difficult for other teams to beat us. That's the most important thing, we need to get that feeling back to the team and the results have been good so far in pre-season. We will be quietly confident going into the new campaign."

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AVFC Official
By @AVFCOfficial 1st August 2012
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