Birmingham new boy ridicules Villa with comment Blues fans will love

Date published: Thursday 24th June 2021 11:41 - Dan Burnham

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Birmingham City new boy Ryan Woods snubbed rivals Aston Villa when he just 11-years-old because ‘it was quite rough’ and ‘they weren’t his type of people’.

Woods has joined Birmingham on a three-year deal from fellow Championship club Stoke City. He had been with the Potters since 2018. However, he spent the last 18 months on-loan at Millwall where he linked up with old boss Gary Rowett. Rowett signed Woods for Stoke and made him vice-captain of the team during his time at the bet365 Stadium.

After Rowett’s departure Woods fell out of favour under new bosses Nathan Jones and Michael O’Neill. He subsequently linked up with his former boss at The Den, going on to make 64 appearances for the Lions.

He is now set for a new chapter at Birmingham. But it was at their arch-rivals Villa where his footballing career began.

The 27-year-old was scouted by Villa at an early age. After attending the club’s Bodymoor Heath training ground, he instantly knew it wasn’t right for him – so much so that he insisted he would perform poorly if he was forced to go.

Speaking to LondonNewsOnline in February 2020, he said: “I went there at 10 or 11 and I just didn’t enjoy it. I grew up as a village kid and it was quite rough. They [Villa] weren’t really my type of people.

“I said to my dad: ‘If you make me go, I’ll train badly so they don’t take me on anyway’. I never went.

“Dad said: ‘Fair play to you, you know what you want’. Even at that age I knew it wasn’t going to be for me. I went and enjoyed my football with my friends again at the weekend.

“Then I signed at Walsall until I was 15 and they released me, because they felt I was too small.

“After, I went to Shrewsbury a few days later and had a trial game at right-back – didn’t impress. I told them: ‘ I’m not a right-back, I play centre midfield’. I went back for another trial in midfield and I signed the next day.

Woods: Villa not the right environment

“The reason those two clubs worked better was probably because of the Centre of Excellence feel. There wasn’t as much pressure and they were my type of people – easy going and they wanted you to go and enjoy yourself while you’re progressing at the same time.

“I enjoyed the environment, that’s the most important thing for me. That’s all I want.”

Woods went on to make 91 appearances for Shrewsbury and was named in the League 2 PFA Team Of The Year for the 2014/15 season as the Shrews gained promotion.

This earned him a move to then Championship side Brentford, whom he spent three seasons with before joining Stoke initially on loan.

READ MORERising star winger shoots Aston Villa down with big reason for transfer rejection

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