Socceroos Abroad: Gauci excited to develop his game at Aston Villa

Subway Socceroos goalkeeper Joe Gauci has said his transfer to Aston Villa has come at the right time in his career and he is ready for the challenge.

The 23-year-old completed a deadline-day move to the English Premier League side from Adelaide United for an undisclosed fee.

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Speaking with Aston Villa's media team on arrival in Birmingham, Gauci said it was the perfect time in his career to make the leap to the Premier League.

“It's the perfect time for me in my career to accept this new challenge and I'm looking forward to just getting my head down and working hard,” he said.

“I’ll be asking lots of questions, listening to all the staff on and off the field and learning from the other boys as well, it's going to be an exciting few years.”

He discussed how the move to Villa came about, from initial discussions to realising the opportunity to develop as a goalkeeper.

“The initial conversations that I had with some of the footballing staff and coaches were really positive, I think the level of detail that they went into about my game, specifically, I could really tell how much they analysed me as a goalkeeper,” he said.

“It was something that I felt like straightaway, I could come here and take my game to another level, obviously, being the Premier League, it's the pinnacle of world football and that excites me.”

Gauci also said the chance to work with and learn from the Best FIFA Men's Goalkeeper in Emi Martinez was a big drawcard.

“The opportunity to work with world class players and the number one goalkeeper in the world is someone that's fantastic to learn off, and Javi (Garcia), the goalkeeper coach, is very well regarded,” he said.

“So, there's a lot of positives and I feel like at my age, it's the right time for me to make this jump and I'm ready for the challenge.”

Aston Villa’s training ground, Bodymoor Heath, is renowned for its state-of-the-art facilities and Gauci has confirmed it is a special place.

“I haven't seen a facility quite like it, there's no excuse here as a professional to not reach your highest level,” he said.

“Everyone's been extremely welcoming, it's been fantastic, everyone's really been welcoming and positive and willing to help.”

He added that this move to the Premier League will be a big step up from his time in the A-Leagues, but he’s excited to get started.

“It's a big step up from Australian football, but it's something that I'm looking forward to,” he said.

“I think there may be a little bit of time of adjustment, especially to a new country, different weather, different people with different cultures.

“But as I said, at the age that I'm at, I feel like it's the right challenge for me and I'm going to give myself every opportunity to succeed.”

Gauci is the second Australian goalkeeper to represent Aston Villa after Mark Bosnich made 179 appearances from 1992 to 1999.

Mile Jedinak also established himself as a key component for the Villans from 2016-2019, playing in the 2017 FA Cup Final against Manchester United, and helping the club gain promotion back to the Premier League in 2018/19.

Gauci hopes that he can become the next Socceroo to become a club legend at Villa Park.

“I've seen and heard that (Bosnich) is regarded as a bit of a club legend here, so now I'm hoping that I can be the second Australian goalkeeper to have a fantastic career at the club,” he said.