Aston Villa defender Ciaran Clark reveals admiration for QPR's Richard Dunne

Aston Villa

Ciaran Clark has paid tribute to Richard Dunne for mentoring him during their time together at Villa Park.

Aston Villa’s Ciaran Clark has told the club’s official website of his admiration for former teammate and now-Queens Park Rangers defender Richard Dunne.

Dunne, 35, joined Villa from Manchester City in August 2009 for £5 million, before proving a key part of the Martin O’Neill-led side which sealed a sixth-place Premier League finish in his first season at the club, earning a spot in the PFA Team of the Year for his efforts.

The ex-Republic of Ireland international would make 115 total appearances for the claret and blues between 2009 and 2012, but ongoing hernia problems forced him to miss the entire 2012-13 campaign before his release in the summer of 2013.

Nevertheless, Clark, who partnered Dunne several times in the heart of the club’s defence when he was just breaking into the first-team, has stressed that the veteran was a big inspiration for him during their time as teammates, and has saved a spot for him in his Villa ‘Dream Team’ as a result.

“He was a rock. I made my debut on Saturday and then he signed on Sunday,” Clark said. “From then on, it was a pleasure to train with him and play with him. It was unreal for me.

“If I was looking for inspiration as a central defender, it was him. I looked up to him. Nothing got past him. Nothing at all.

“He always seemed to be in control of every striker - whether they were strong or quick. He was just so composed.

“I always took his advice on board whenever I had the pleasure of receiving it.”

Clark also named current teammates Brad Guzan, Alan Hutton, Fabian Delph and Gabby Agbonlahor in his side, as well as ex-Villa regulars James Collins, Luke Young, James Milner, Stiliyan Petrov, Stewart Downing and John Carew.

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