Gabriel Agbonlahor: Talentspotter

Aston Villa's long-serving son speaks to FourFourTwo in January 2007.

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Aston Villa

Birmingham, 13/10/86


Just 'Gabs'.

Club supported as a boy
I'm a Villa fan through and through, having grown up in Birmingham. All my family support Villa too.

Previous clubs
I've come through the youth ranks at Villa. I played for the youth team and reserves and went on loan to both Sheffield Wednesday and Watford before making my first team debut at Villa last season. I did ok for the reserves at Villa last year, averaging a goal a game before joining the first team.

That would have to be my pace. I can take on defenders and get crosses in or get in behind them to try and score goals.

That would be telling!

I play a bit like...
I don't like to model myself on anyone; instead I just play my own game - I'm just me!

Career highlight
Scoring on my debut for the first team was pretty good. I started the game against Everton at Goodison Park and we were 3-0 down at the time (eventually losing 4-1), but to score for the first team was a great feeling.

Career lowlight
Touch wood, I haven't had one yet.

Toughest opponent
It would have to be John Terry. He has deceptive pace, is strong in the tackle and good in the air. He really gives you a hard time for the full 90 minutes.

Best player played with
Villa's captain Gareth Barry. He's an excellent player who can get forward as well as defend. He's a great captain too.

Last time a team-mate amazed me
It wasn't on the pitch, but the other day our defender Martin Laursen turned up at training sporting a 'rascal' jacket - truly amazing, it was!

Biggest influence
Ian Wright, for the way he enjoyed the game. His goalscoring record was incredible and he played with pace.

Best advice given
Probably recent advice from the gaffer [Martin O'Neill] - he told me just to enjoy the game as much as you can, which is exactly what I'm doing at the moment.

Biggest practical joker
At a push I'd say Eric Djemba-Djemba.

Latest iPod download
I'm into my dance music and recently I've been listening to a bit of Fish Go Deep [underground house, apparently].

Saw 3 was an excellent film and really scary.

I couldn't possibly divulge that kind of information!

I'm driving an Audi A3 at the moment.

Other sports I enjoy
Because of my pace I was always a bit of an athlete when I was younger, and I enjoy that. Sprinting was always my thing.

Hidden talents
I like to think I'm pretty handy on Pro Evolution 6 on the Playstation. I love playing it and I'm pretty good.

TV programme
The Contender. It's the latest reality TV thing - trying to find the next boxing champion.

If I hadn't been a footballer...
I would definitely have liked to pursue a career in athletics if I hadn't made it in football. As long as it was something to do with sport!

With my first paypacket I bought
A new car.

If I could play alongside any player...
Kaka. He's the complete footballer. Skilful, a good range of passing and contributes goals too - he would be great to play alongside.

Not a lot of people know this but...
Nothing that exciting to tell, but I was my school captain for the football team.

Funny fan encounter
Most fans are really good, really supportive - I think it helps that I'm a local lad and a Villa fan. But I did once get a fan asking me to sign his trainers!

In five years' time I'll be...
Hopefully a better player and scoring goals in the Premiership.

From the January 2007 issue of FourFourTwo.