New boy inspired by Villa stars
New Aston Villa signing Ron Vlaar has set his sights on emulating the likes of Paul McGrath, Olof Mellberg and Martin Laursen.
The Dutch international, part of his country's Euro 2012 squad, has put pen to paper on a three-year deal with the midlands club and becomes their fourth new signing of the summer.
Vlaar, 27, is aware of the pedigree of previous centre-backs at Villa Park and is determined to make his mark under new manager Paul Lambert.
"I am looking forward to following in the footsteps of players such as Paul McGrath, Olof Mellberg and Martin Laursen - all of them great players for this club," said Vlaar. "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."
Vlaar is convinced his best years are ahead of him after committing himself to Villa until the end of the 2014-2015 campaign and wants to bring success back to the club after two poor seasons.
"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," Vlaar added. "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 know some of Villa's history and I have been in the stadium already and saw all of the pictures of great achievements. I really believe we can bring the happiness back."