By Dan Harrison
Ciaran Clark has paid a glowing tribute to compatriot Shay Given, insisting: "He's still got many years left at the top for Villa."
Given announced his retirement from international football this week after winning 125 caps for the Republic of Ireland.
Clark was quick to hail the Donegal-born goalkeeper's efforts for the boys in green.
And he has backed Given to continue starring for Villa over the next few seasons.
"Throughout his career he has been brilliant," said Clark.
"I remember when I was a lot younger being at home watching the games when I wasn't a professional and he has always been top class.
"He has been fantastic for Ireland. It is a shame he has called it a day but he has obviously got his reasons.
"He is a brilliant lad as well, everyone gets on with him and he is a good laugh as well. He has always got a joke in him."
Clark hopes Villa will benefit from the 36-year-old's decision to call time on his Ireland career.
The defender reckons Given's world class save to deny Eljero Elia of Werder Bremen in Saturday's pre-season friendly proved he is still at the peak of his powers.
"Maybe that was one of the reasons to call it a day," added Clark.
"Maybe he wanted to concentrate on his Villa career and hopefully it will work out well for Villa.
"He made a couple of great saves on Saturday that were just typical Shay.
"He does it every day in training. With a keeper like that in your team you are always confident."
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