Mark Bunn targeting Aston Villa's number one spot

The ex-Norwich City goalkeeper is aiming to challenge for regular playing time after signing a two-year deal at Villa Park.

Aston Villa new boy Mark Bunn may be viewed as a backup goalkeeper by many but the former Norwich City man has told AVTV that he fully plans on playing regular first-team football with the claret and blues.

Bunn, 30, had been a free agent this summer after his Norwich contract expired, before inking a two-year deal at Villa to replace Stoke City-bound Shay Given.

The former Tottenham Hotspur trainee spent his three seasons at Carrow Road as John Ruddy’s number two after signing from Blackburn Rovers in August 2012 – playing 31 games – but he believes he can push for a starting role in the Midlands.

Speaking from the club’s pre-season training camp in Portugal, Bunn said: “Obviously my target is I want to play football. I know that it’s going to be hard here but I will try my best.

“I’m going to work really hard to break into the team and if I don’t then I’ll push the other goalkeepers to make them better.”

Bunn’s move to Villa Park also sees him reunited with former Norwich goalkeeping coach Tony Parks, who he admits was a big reason why he chose to join the club over other options.

“I was a free agent at the end of the season and had a few options on the table but, when I got the phone call from Parksy, it was a no-brainer,” he told AVTV. “He came in last season at Norwich. He’s a fantastic coach and a great bloke as well. To get the chance to work with him again was something I couldn’t turn down.

“He’s definitely one for the goalies. He’ll stick up for you and is always on your side. Even if you’re going through some tough times, he’ll always there to give you words of encouragement and gets the best out of us.

“He’s a fantastic goalkeeping coach and I’m looking forward to working with him again. Hopefully he can help me push on and, you never know, maybe I can do well in training and show everyone what I can do.”

Expected to begin next season as Villa’s main backup over former Norwich teammate Jed Steer, it remains to be seen who Bunn will be competing with for the number one job, with question marks still surrounding the future of Brad Guzan.

Even if the US international is not shipped out to make room for a reported target such as Brentford’s David Button [h/t Daily Mail], though, he will still prove tough for his positional rival to unseat.

Labelled one of the top-flight’s best keepers before a dip in form saw him dropped during last season’s run-in, the American custodian has been impressing at the CONCACAF Gold Cup this summer, suggesting that he could be heading for a bounce-back campaign.

With Bunn, meanwhile, struggling to get minutes in the Championship of late, the goalkeeping battle looks somewhat one-sided at this point.

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