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Aston Villa Players Return Thursday Morning

Corner Flag (photo by Kirsten Schlewitz)
Corner Flag (photo by Kirsten Schlewitz)

The boys in claret and blue are back. Twitter's already told us about seeing Richard Dunne at Waitrose in Birmingham, so the Villans are stocking up on supplies and preparing to get back on the pitch.

The first team is due at Bodymoor Heath tomorrow morning, although Brad Guzan, Emile Heskey, Stephen Warnock and James Milner will all be given extra time to rest up before returning to practice.

Although it's probable that some of the players we see in preseason won't be appearing as Villans come September, Martin O'Neill has given a bit of encouragement to Villa's bench regulars, stating that should they impress, there will be a spot for them on the first team. Fans of Steve Sidwell and Luke Young might rest a little easier now.

For those who just haven't been quite satiated by World Cup football, there's a reserve friendly against Basingstoke on July 18th, followed by a first team friendly against Petersborough the next day. For our Irish friends, Villa travel to Dublin on July 24th to take on League of Ireland side the Bohemians. Perhaps Dunney can be a tour guide.

After the friendly against Walsall on July 27th, Aston Villa will head to Portugal for the Guadiana Cup on July 31st, facing Feyenoord and Benfica, before returning to Birmingham for their final friendly, August 6th against Valencia.I think I speak for everyone when I say I regret that David Villa no longer plays for Valencia because I'm sure many clever jokes will now never be uttered.