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Hammer Time: Hitzlsperger - Hello to Villans, my current life, thoughts on John Terry and one hope for 2018

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Hammer Time: Hitzlsperger - Hello to Villans, my current life, thoughts on John Terry and one hope for 2018

Hello, Villans. 

It's great to be back in touch after many years! 

I'm happy to say I'll be giving my thoughts on all things claret and blue and beyond a lot more regularly from now on, and I'm looking forward to discussing many topics in this new blog over the course of the season. 

To start, though, I thought I'd give you a little insight into the current goings on in my life. 

Upon writing, I'm preparing to cover Germany versus France as a pundit for a television station out here, and I'm relishing the game after last Friday's goalless draw at Wembley! 

These days, media work is secondary to my main job, which is as a Member of the Executive Committee at VfB Stuttgart, one of my former clubs.

HitzlspergerBaggiesOTDMain

Besides representing the club in this position, I'm mainly in charge of the talent at the academy and supporting the staff to develop players into the first team. 

It's my job to mentor mainly the U15s to U19s, which requires watching most of their games and training sessions. 

The role has been challenging in the 18 months or so since I began after the club's relegation, and I'm still learning, getting to know the departments inside out.  

Overseeing the development of a club is not something I could have foreseen a few years ago. 

With almost 60,000 members, it's a big club and I'm still getting used to everything. 

As mentioned, alongside this, I do some media work here and there – it's the first thing I did once I stopped playing football. 

I had a good time doing it and wanted to maintain it alongside my role at Stuttgart. 

Thankfully the club allowed and encouraged it, so I'm continuing that. 

Still in touch 

So that's what's happening in my life at the moment. Let's now get on to all things Villa. 

It's fair to say that because of my work and location, I don't get to see as much as I would like of our great club, aside of highlights, at the moment. 

However, I always look out for the results and keep up-to-date with the latest news, and I'm much happier with the way things are looking this season. 

Getting out of the Championship is a very difficult thing – like all of us, I want to see us in the Premier League. 

Other than last weekend, the results have been good lately. It's moving in the right direction. 

On that note, I was pleasantly surprised to see John Terry sign on in the summer. 

I played against him quite a few times during my time in England, and it was a great coup by the club. 

It's a shame he's now injured for a while, but he's been great so far. 

A player with his experience and personality helps the younger players in particular.   

It's great that someone of his calibre has decided to join and I really hope he recovers quickly so we can bring him back into the side. 

The right man

Management is an interesting subject in world football at the moment and it's worth saying that we definitely have the right man for the job at present. 

I came across Steve Bruce a few times as a player – he's experienced and has a track record of getting clubs to the Premier League, which he can hopefully do again with the Villa. 

Bruce on Blues

He knows English football inside out and seems a good appointment in football's unstable times – whereas before him perhaps we tried something a bit different and it didn't quite work out. 

Academy matters 

Academies and bringing youngsters through is also a big talking point in the game at the moment – particularly in England, where they’ve had a lot of international success at age-grade level. 

Aston Villa have got a proud history of producing academy players, and it's great to see a few in the first team again this season. 

It's certainly something I can appreciate a lot more now in my role with Stuttgart. 

I've seen a bit of Jack Grealish since he broke into the first team, and every time I've watched him I've seen a talent there. 

It's good to have him back now. He's got everything he needs to be a top player and it really is up to him how far he can go. 

Grealish return SW

Jack can grow and mature and be at the top level – hopefully with Aston Villa. 

He's one of the best academy products and, on that subject, I would love to come back to Bodymoor Heath and analyse the differences from when I was at the club sometime soon. 

I hear it's changed a lot in recent times, all for the good, and that it’s an impressive place to be.  

I'm all for learning and it's my job now to start visiting other clubs and building relationships. 

All I can say is I'm determined to come back to B6 soon. There remains a connection between myself and the club, and it shouldn't take too long before I pay a visit again. Maybe in 2018!

For now, though, I hope we can put another solid run together and end 2017 on a high. 

Up the Villa! 

Thomas

AVFC Official
By @AVFCOfficial 14th November 2017