Ciaran Clark


Ciaran Clark
Ciaran Clark
Personal information
Full name Ciaran Clark
Date of birth 24 September 1989 (1989-09-24) (age 22)
Place of birth Harrow, London, England
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)[1]
Playing position Centre Back
Left Back
Central Midfielder
Club information
Current club Aston Villa
Number 21
Youth career
2000–2009 Aston Villa
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2009– Aston Villa 23 (3)
National team
2005-2006 England U17 6 (0)
2006-2007 England U18 2 (0)
2007-2008 England U19 9 (0)
2009 England U20 2 (1)
2011– Republic of Ireland 2 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 20 October 2011.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 8 February 2011

Ciaran Clark (born 24 September 1989 in Harrow, England) is an English-born Irish professional footballer who plays for Premier League club Aston Villa and the Republic of Ireland national football team. Clark is naturally a central defender, but has been used as a central midfielder and a left-back by ex Villa manager Gérard Houllier where he has established himself in the team.[2]

Clark captained England at under-18 and under-19 level, but in October 2010 declared his ambition to play for the Republic of Ireland.[3] He was called up to the national team a month later for the friendly match against Norway, and made his full debut against Wales on 8 February 2011.[4]

Contents

Club career

Aston Villa

Early career

Although born in London and growing up in Sandy, Clark came through the Aston Villa youth academy after joining at the age of eleven. He captained the academy U-18 team to the 2007–08 Premier Academy League, the academy's maiden league title. He was given a squad number for the 2008–09 season and named on the bench for Villa's 2008–09 UEFA Cup match away at CSKA Moscow, but remained an unused substitute. He captained the reserves to the Premier Reserve League South title and defeated PRL North winners Sunderland in the play-off final to win their first ever Reserve League trophy.[5]

2009–10 season

Clark was included in the squads for the preseason friendlies and the 2009 Peace Cup.[6] On 30 August 2009, he made his debut in a 2–0 win against Fulham. With Curtis Davies unavailable through injury, the nineteen-year-old was named in Villa's starting line-up, partnering Carlos Cuéllar in defence.[7] He helped keep a clean sheet and nearly marked his debut with a goal but sent his header inches wide. Garth Crooks of the BBC named the youngster in his Team of the week.[8] Although the formidable partnership of new signings James Collins and Richard Dunne limited him to the bench, he was tipped to break into the first team on a regular basis within several years.[9] In November 2009, he signed a contract extension until 2012.[10]

Clark's second appearance in an Aston Villa shirt came at Villa Park as the home side beat Brighton and Hove Albion 3–2 in the 2009-10 FA Cup.

2010–11 season

Clark started in the first two league games of the 2010–11 season: against West Ham United, partnering Richard Dunne and keeping a clean sheet; then against Newcastle United. Clark also was handed a start in Gerard Houllier's first match as new Villa manager, against Blackburn Rovers in the League Cup. He then started the match against local rivals Birmingham City in midfield and continued in the role against Fulham and Blackpool due to the club's injury crisis. On 27 November 2010, Clark scored his first 2 goals for the club in a 4-2 defeat against Arsenal at home. He scored a 91st minute equaliser against Chelsea on 2 January 2011 to rescue a point. Clark scored his first FA Cup goal for the club against Blackburn Rovers on 29 January 2011.

International career

England

Clark skippered the England U-19 team through qualification for the 2008 European Championships, playing in 5 out of the 6 qualifers and scoring a goal. He missed out on the tournament through an ankle injury sustained during training.[11][12] After being promoted to the England U-20's, he was appointed captain and scored in only his second match, in a friendly against Italy on March 2008.

Republic of Ireland

In late September 2010, Football Association of Ireland (FAI) officials approached Clark about switching his allegiance. They sent scout and former Republic of Ireland under-21 manager, Don Givens, to watch him in the match against Blackburn.[13]

On 5 October 2010, it was reported that Clark had pledged his international future to the Irish national team as he qualified through his Irish mother. Richard Dunne played a role in convincing him and had spoken to FAI scouts about his eligibility.[14]

On 12 November 2010, Clark was named in the Republic of Ireland squad for the friendly against Norway.[15] He then made his debut on the 8 February 2011 against Wales at the Aviva Stadium.[16]

Honours

Career statistics

England
Season Club Division League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
2009-10 Aston Villa Premier League 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2010-11 19 3 3 1 3 0 0 0 25 4
2011-12 2 0 0 0 1 0 - - 3 0
Total 22 3 3 1 4 0 0 0 29 4

As of 31 August 2011

References

  1. ^ "Premier League Player Profile". Premier League. http://www.premierleague.com/page/PlayerProfile/0,,12306~46006,00.html. Retrieved 11March 2011. 
  2. ^ "Ciaran Clark is Villa's 'Mr Versatile'". Express and Star. 4 January 2011. http://www.expressandstar.com/sport/aston-villa-fc/2011/01/04/ciaran-clark-is-villas-mr-versatile/. 
  3. ^ "Ciaran Clark confirms allegiance to Ireland". GreenScene. 20 October 2010. http://greenscene.me/2010/10/ciaran-clark-confirms-allegiance-to-ireland/. 
  4. ^ "FT: Republic of Ireland 3 Wales 0". Sky Sports. 8 February 2011. http://www.skysports.com/football/match_commentary/0,19764,11065_3344087,00.html?reloaded. 
  5. ^ "RESERVES: VILLA 3–1 Sunderland". 21 May 2009. http://www.avfc.co.uk/page/News/0,,10265~1664139,00.html. 
  6. ^ "Peace Cup squad". avfc.co.uk. 22 July 2009. http://www.avfc.co.uk/page/News/0,,10265~1730353,00.html. 
  7. ^ "Aston Villa 2 – 0 Fulham". BBC Sport. 2009-08-30. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_prem/8222321.stm. 
  8. ^ "Garth Crooks' team of the week". BBC Sport. 2009-08-30. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/score_on_bbci/7631245.stm. 
  9. ^ "Future is bright for Aston Villa youngsters, says Gordon Cowans". Birmingham Mail. 13 June 2008. http://www.birminghammail.net/birmingham-sport/aston-villa-fc/aston-villa-news/2008/06/13/future-is-bright-for-aston-villa-youngsters-says-gordon-cowans-97319-21070888/. 
  10. ^ "Ciaran Clark grateful for deal at Aston Villa". Birmingham Mail. 28 November 2009. http://www.birminghammail.net/birmingham-sport/aston-villa-fc/aston-villa-news/2009/11/28/ciaran-clarke-grateful-for-deal-at-aston-villa-97319-25272783/. 
  11. ^ "Captain's Pride". TheFA.com. 1 April 2009. http://thefa.com/England/MensUnder20s/NewsAndFeatures/2009/ciaran_clark_italy_reaction_010409.aspx. 
  12. ^ "Czechs' rivals aim to be class acts". uefa.com. 16 July 2008. http://www.uefa.com/competitions/under19/news/kind=1/newsid=732738.html. 
  13. ^ "Republic of Ireland approach Ciaran Clark about switching his England allegiance". Birmingham Mail. 28 September 2010. http://www.birminghammail.net/birmingham-sport/aston-villa-fc/aston-villa-player-profiles/gerard-houllier-profile/2010/09/28/republic-of-ireland-approach-ciaran-clark-about-switching-his-england-allegiance-97319-27353441/. 
  14. ^ "Ciaran Clark pledges international future to Ireland - after ringing endorsement from Richard Dunne". Birmingham Mail. 5 October 2010. http://www.birminghammail.net/birmingham-sport/aston-villa-fc/aston-villa-news/2010/10/05/ciaran-clark-pledges-international-future-to-ireland-after-ringing-endorsement-from-richard-dunne-97319-27401165/. 
  15. ^ "Ciaran Clark called up the Irish Squad". GreenScene. 12 November 2010. http://greenscene.me/2010/11/ciaran-clark-called-up-the-irish-squad/. 
  16. ^ "Republic of Ireland 3-0 Wales". RTE Sport. 2011-02-08. http://www.rte.ie/sport/soccer/2011/0208/ireland_wales_carlingnationscup.html. Retrieved 2011-02-08. 

External links


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