Former Aston Villa man Chris Herd makes Chesterfield move

The 26-year-old Australian has joined the League One club on a deal until January after leaving Villa this summer.

After being released by Aston Villa this summer, Australia international Chris Herd has finally found a new club.

On Friday, League One side Chesterfield confirmed the signing of the utility man on a deal until January, with the view to an extension until the end of the season.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Herd said: "The club got in touch with my representatives. I came down and things seemed to work for both parties and I was happy to get a deal tied up.

"I think it's a great opportunity here with this team, I think this team is very capable of gaining promotion to the Championship and I'm glad to be a part of it.

"The coaching staff seem very good and all the players seem to be on the ball and look a great team, I want to get back playing and play as many games as I can, help the club and push for promotion."

 2014-15 Season PositionTeamGoalsAssistsKey PassesPassing AccuracyTotal TacklesDuels WonDuel SuccessInterceptionsAppearancesMins Played
Chris Herd MF Bolton / Wigan 0 0 2 65% 11 34 56.67% 14 5 357

Herd, 26, first moved to England from Australia in 2005 to join Villa as a trainee, before rising through the ranks to earn his first-team debut in November 2010.

The three-time capped Socceroo, who can operate in defence or midfield, went on to make 42 total appearances during his claret and blue career, including 20 starts during the 2011-12 campaign under former manager Alex McLeish.

Nevertheless, both injuries and poor form saw him fall out favour following Paul Lambert’s appointment in the summer of 2012, as he featured just 14 more times for the club over the next two campaigns, while spending time out on loan at Bolton Wanderers and Wigan Athletic last term.

His spell at the DW Stadium for the second half of the season was cut short after just three games, however, when he was ruled out for the rest of the campaign after suffering medial ligament damage in the then-Championship club's 1-0 win over Reading in February.

With his Villa contract expiring in the summer, new boss Tim Sherwood was open to giving him a second chance to impress during pre-season once he had recovered, but the versatile Australian instead ended up being released after turning down the offer of a short-term deal.

Speaking to The World Game in June, Herd’s father explained: “Chris’s contract has been officially terminated at Villa and, while there have been some sniffs, there is nothing concrete on the table just yet from elsewhere.

“Two years ago he was playing in the Premier League but last year he played only a handful of games for Bolton and Wigan and a lot of people are still sitting on the fence.

"People can forget you very quickly when you are not playing. Villa offered him a three-month contract because Tim Sherwood wanted to have a look at him, but Chris said no to that.”

Now back fit and eager for a fresh start, Herd will have the chance to get his career back on track at Chesterfield over the coming months and, should he impress, there might even be the chance for him to make a mid-season move to a club higher up the Football League.

Ultimately, the former Villan may not have been a Premier League quality player but he has shown in the past that he can do a job in the Championship and that is where he should end up in the long-run – whether with the Spireities or someone else.

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