Image: Brad Friedel, Goalkeeper for Aston Villa

Brad Friedel answers our questions

New Aston Villa signing, American Goalkeeper Brad Friedel, answers some of our questions about why he joined the club and how he is settling in to his new home city of Birmingham.


  • Why did you choose Aston Villa?

Aston Villa is a massive club and the ambitions the owner, Mr. Lerner and the Manager, Martin O’Neill have for the place won me over straight away. I had a really great time at Blackburn but it was time for me to challenge myself and I couldn’t have wished for a better opportunity.

  • What are your aspirations for the season?

I think that our goals should only be aired publicly by the manager. What I can say is that, along with my team mates and staff, I will strive to reach the goals we set.

  • What has been the highlight of your career so far?

I have had many highlights but as I don’t live in the past I would like to think my next match will be the greatest highlight – or the next season – or some other event in the future.

  • Who is your all time football hero?

Tim Harris. No one in the UK knows him but he is the person who started my journey 20 years ago. He is an ex-USA ‘keeper.

  • Do you have any pre-match rituals?

My warm up has been the same for about ten years, so I guess THAT is my ritual.

  • What does a typical week look like for you?

Training and preparation for a game mainly! I work along with the other keepers with our goalkeeping coach Seamus McDonagh on a daily basis. This will include general fitness and flexibility as well as the obvious technical stuff that only interests goalkeepers! The preparation doesn’t end at the training ground gates either. Diet and plenty of rest are as important as the physical stuff. You just can’t survive in the top flight these days without doing things properly.

  • What’s your favourite film?

The Shawshank Redemption.

  • What would be your ideal night out?

To be fair, I’m a home boy and really enjoy films so I think it’s fair to say I’m easy to please with dinner and a movie.

  • What are your first impressions of Birmingham as a city?

To be honest, since signing I have not had a moment to really see the city.  We’ve been on tour to Spain, played a UEFA Cup match in Iceland, away at Reading and then into the big kick-off. As a family, we’re looking for schools and a house and we’re looking forward to getting to know the city.

  • What are you most looking forward to about living in Birmingham? (e.g. shopping, nightlife, restaurants, etc...)

I enjoy change and meeting new people so that is what my family and me are looking forward to the most about our relocation.