Youngster Herd pens new Villa deal
Aston Villa utility player Chris Herd has signed a new three-and-a-half-year contract with the midlands club.
Herd, who made his Premier League debut against Manchester United earlier this season, has committed himself to Villa until the summer of 2014.
Herd said: "When I got offered the contract, it wasn't a difficult decision to make at all. A few of the other boys have done really well and have all signed contracts so it is nice to follow in their footsteps. When you get that taste (of the first team) you want more and it spurs you on."
The 21-year-old becomes the latest Villa academy product to put pen to paper on a new deal after Marc Albrighton, Barry Bannan, Ciaran Clark, Jonathan Hogg and Gary Gardner.
Perth born Herd, who joined Villa as a 15-year-old, was included in Australia's squad for the current Asian Cup although he did not make the final party.
He can play in central midfield or full-back - the position he was occupying when scoring a hat-trick for the reserves in a 10-1 win over Arsenal on Monday.
Herd's first senior involvement was as a substitute in the UEFA Cup tie against Hamburg in December 2008.
He has had loan spells at Wycombe, Port Vale and Lincoln to help with his development.