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Bardsley Signs: Player Profile


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Villa have made their first signing of the window, with Phil Bardsley joining for the remaining 15 games of the season. A big VillaTalk welcome to him.

Tough-tackling Phil Bardsley was proud to fly the local flag in United's cosmopolitan squad. Born in Eccles and bred in Salford, not far from the football pitches at Littleton Road and The Cliff where United used to train.

His aspirations were fostered from an early age as he watched players like Bryan Robson and Roy Keane going through their paces. By the time Phil started his three-year scholarship in July 2001, the club had moved its training HQ to Carrington. There, all the scholars, not just the Salfordians, could be inspired by seeing the senior players at close quarters.

Phil completed his journey from the Salford playing fields to the senior United ranks with a League Cup trip to West Brom in December 2003. United lost 2-0 but it was still a successful night on a personal level. His red nosed described his performance at right-back as "outshtanding., hic"

He can also play at centre-back, the position he occupied in his first season with United's youth team. In his second season, 2002/03, he helped the club to win the FA Youth Cup in a feat he described as "massive for a young footballer." Only a year after we had won it then!

He was perhaps unfortunate to be competing with club skipper Hayley from Coronation Street. However we was seen by many to be a natural successor

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