When Aussie kid Lyden met legend Terry

Australian midfielder Jordan Lyden is revelling in a reunion with legendary defender John Terry, as he primes himself for a breakthrough season at Aston Villa.

Jordan Lyden

Jordan Lyden Source: Getty Images

Lyden, 21, has posted a picture of himself alongside new Villa signing Terry on his Instagram account, taken 12 years ago when he was a nine year old junior at Stamford Bridge.

Now, to Lyden's delight, the 36-year-old ex-England and Chelsea skipper is his teammate at the Championship club.

Having overcome a horror run of injuries which blighted his progress last season, Lyden came off the bench and won a penalty in the weekend's 2-1 pre-season loss to Shrewsbury and was closely assessed by coach Steve Bruce during last week's training camp in Portugal.

He is hoping to directly benefit from the drip feed of knowledge and experience that seeps from Terry's every pore as Villa look to push for a Premier League return in 2017-2018.

And he looks back nostalgically at that first fleeting meeting.

"I was a youngster at Chelsea between the ages of nine and 11 and John Terry came down to one of the training sessions to have a look," recalled Lyden, Villa's under-23s captain.

"That's the sort of character he is ... he likes to be involved around the club.

"It's good for the young players to see that because it shows he cares.

"I ended up getting a photo with him and I've kept it ever since ... now we are playing the same team. "That's what dreams are made of, I suppose."

Terry could conceivably be playing alongside Socceroos captain Mike Jedinak at the back this season, as Bruce weighs his options.

The 32-year-old Australian is currently recovering from groin surgery but should be fit for the start of the season.

"John Terry was somebody I looked up to as a young kid and now I can learn so much from him in person," said Lyden.

"He knows what it takes to be at the top and what it takes to stay there.

"It's fantastic to have somebody of that stature at the club.

"You only have to look at what he's accomplished in the game over the past 20 years or so."

Having made six senior appearances the season before last, Lyden - who operates at right-back or central midfield - made just a handful of starts for the U-23s last season.

"With injuries I've had in the past, the main thing will be to stay fit and build from there," said Lyden, who has suffered a shoulder strain but will play with a pain killer against Walsall overnight.

"I'm not going to let anything hold me back this year.

"I spoke with the gaffer and he wants to have a look at me.

"When I came on against Wolves last year I scored and won a penalty.

"He seems to be impressed by me so fingers crossed I can carry that on this year and get some more minutes.

"I think he likes my energy and work ethic, which is good."

Yet to be capped by the Socceroos, Lyden was part of an Australian development camp under the auspices of Josep Gombau in March, and is on his radar for the Olyroos.

Ironically, it was there where he picked up a hamstring injury which ruled him out for the rest of last season.

"I spoke with Josep about the Asia qualifiers currently going on in Myanmar," he explained.

"But the gaffer here wanted me to stay at Villa so he could have a look at me and I could get a good pre-season under my belt."

Lyden also underscored the importance of Jedinak to Villa's cause, wether he plays in midfield or at the back.

"Hopefully he's fit soon," he said. "He's another mentor for me, somebody took up to around the club.

"I'm sure once he's fit he will be in the starting team, no doubt.

"It's hard to leave him out with his work rate.

"He does the unglamorous things like winning headers and closing down people.

"He has a knack of being in the right position at the right time.

"You need players like that in the team."

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4 min read
Published 18 July 2017 at 9:45pm
By Dave Lewis