Monday, October 10, 2011
Number 25: Barry Bannan
Born in Airdrie, Bannan began his career at local youth team Lenzie Youth Club and soon played for the under-14 team of his favourite team Celtic. As a fourteen year old, Bannan was asked to join Celtoc's youth academy but decided to take a trial for Aston Villa.
Offered a two year contract after being named player of the tournament, Bannan scored thirteen goals in thirty-two matches in the season 2007-08 for Villa's acamdemy who won the Premier Acamdemy League. Also playing in the reserve team as they won the Premier Reserve League South.
Following the season's end he signed a two-year professional contract with the club. In November he was named "Young Player of the Month" by local radio station BBC WM, the first Villa player to win the award twice.
He then joined Derby County and Blackpool in the next year on loan as Martin O'Neill wasn't prepared to play the young Scotsman. Whilst playing for Blackpool he had two major moments during his loan spell; once being spotted out in a nightclub before their defeat to Leicester City and then his short but sweet two minutes on the pitch at Wembley in the play-off finals.
Returning to Aston Villa for the following season he made his senior debut for us against West Ham United in the 3-0 win. His long shirt nearly as long as him.
Seven years after his apperance in the Villa acamdemy he has now scored his first Premier League goal and is now Villa's midfield dynamo. As a Celtic fan, his boyhood hero is skipper Stiliyan Petrov who is now stands in midfield with.