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Joe Cole grew up watching 'massive club' Aston Villa

Aston Villa's latest signing, former England international, Joe Cole, says he grew up watching a number of teams in the Midlands, but he always preferred Villa because it is a 'massive club'.

The club signed Cole yesterday on a free transfer, as it became the midfielder's fourth Premier League club. He has also played for french side, Lille.

I had options elsewhere and I could have gone and earned millions but it’s not about the money for me, it’s about playing and competing. That’s what I want to do, it's that passion for playing that’s driving me on and I want to help the team kick on.

I can’t really say how excited I am for this because Villa is a massive club.

When I was younger at Lilleshall, the national football school, I used to come and watch them. We used to go to either Villa Park, Coventry or Wolves to watch a game, whoever was at home that weekend, and we always preferred going to watch Villa because it’s such a massive club.

There were good players here at the time and it was a good time for the club, the mid-nineties. I know what it’s about and I’ll be committed. I live the life, I train hard and I’ll give everything I can for what we want to achieve here.

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Birmingham City sign Spurs defender on season loan

Hall in action for Swindon Credit: David Davies/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Birmingham City have made Tottenham Hotspur defender, Grant Hall, their second signing of the summer.

The 22-year-old has joined on a season-long loan, with no recall option. His signature follows the recruitment of Jonathan Grounds on Monday.

Hall spent last season on loan at Swindon Town, but after consistent appearances in the first half of the season, a hamstring injury scuppered the second half.

Manager, Lee Clark, told the club website that Hall would not be the last defender to arrive at St Andrews this summer:

We're delighted to have Grant on board and it's no coincidence that my first two signings have been defenders because that was an area we needed to address. We simply didn't keep enough clean sheets last season and, as we look to continue to improve that area, there will be more defenders to come.

Read: Birmingham City sign Jonathan Grounds

Could Nottingham be the first UK 'City of Football'?

Nottingham Forest's City Ground Credit: Steve Drew/EMPICS Sport

Nottingham has been shortlisted by Sport England to become the country's first 'City of Football'.

Manchester and Portsmouth are the other shortlisted cities, after fighting off competition from 19 others.

Sport England said they demonstrated a commitment to united public, private and voluntary organisation to do whatever it takes to get more people playing all forms of the grassroots game regularly.

Sport England want to get more people playing grassroots football Credit: Andrew Matthews/EMPICS Sport

The Nottingham bid must now develop full prospects for how the city will turn this commitment into an actual plan.

If Nottingham wins, as well as the title, it will be given up to £1.6million of National Lottery funding to run a two-year pilot programme.

The results will be monitored and evaluated, and shared around the country, to get more people - especially those between 14 and 25 - playing football.

Sport England started the initiative after statistics showed the number of over 16s playing football regularly fell from 2.2million in June 2012 to 1.8million in December 2013.

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Anglia

Peterborough United boss Darren Ferguson agrees new deal

Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson has signed a new three-year contract with the club.
Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson has signed a new three-year contract with the club. Credit: PA

Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson has signed a new three-year contract with the club.

Posh missed out on promotion via the League One play-offs last season but Ferguson did guide them to success in the Football League Trophy at Wembley.

Assistant manager Kevin Russell is leaving London Road.
Assistant manager Kevin Russell is leaving London Road. Credit: PA

Meanwhile, Assistant manager Kevin Russell is leaving London Road.

Gavin Strachan has been promoted to first team coach as part of a management restructure.

Aston Villa make Swiss defender first summer signing

Senderos in action for Fulham Credit: Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport

Aston Villa have secured the services of Swiss defender, Philippe Senderos, after agreeing a two-year deal to make him their first summer signing.

The 29-year-old former Arsenal and Fulham man will join up with the squad after he returns from World Cup action with Brazil.

Senderos told the club website:

I'm really delighted to be joining Aston Villa, a great club with such a big history, and for me this is a great step in my career.

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