Aston Villa's Brad Guzan says Tottenham's Brad Friedel was the ideal mentor
Last Updated: October 7, 2012 1:18pm
Brad Guzan: Has hailed the influence of mentor Brad Freidel as the pair prepare to face each other on Sunday
Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan says Tottenham counterpart Brad Friedel was the 'ideal mentor' during their spell together at the Midlands club.
The keeper played second fiddle during three years at Villa alongside Friedel, who will play his 321st consecutive Premier League game when the two clubs meet on Sunday at White Hart Lane.
Guzan feels he learnt so much from his fellow American which he is now putting to good use as Villa's current number one after re-signing on a three-year deal in the summer.
He said: "For me it was a matter of keeping myself fit and ready because, as a goalkeeper, you never know when you are going to get that chance.
"He was the ideal mentor. He's going to be a mentor for anybody, the fact that he's a bit older than most, and the fact that he's in his 40's, he's done what he's done for so long."
"At times it was frustrating but that's part of being a goalkeeper and part of being in that position.
"But we had a really good working relationship. For me as a young goalkeeper coming to this country, working with a goalkeeper who has been in the game and in this country for so long, it really helped me.
"He was the ideal mentor. He's going to be a mentor for anybody, the fact that he's a bit older than most, and the fact that he's in his 40's, he's done what he's done for so long.
"He's been around the block. For me to be able to pick his brain it was good."
Guzan believes the 41-year-old's longevity is testament to his professionalism.
He said: "Obviously we spent quite some time together here at Villa. What he is doing at his age is remarkable.
"If you look at his performances he's been fantastic for Tottenham, making good saves, helping them pick up points along the way.
"He keeps himself fit, helps the team get results and that's all you can ask for from a goalkeeper.
"He's an extremely good professional when it comes to keeping himself fit and sharp and ready. For him age is just a number. You wouldn't be able to tell from his performances the age that he is.
"I think his record of consecutive Premier League games speaks for itself. He's not missed for x amount of years now, and x amount of games.
"That's testament to the way he is as a professional and keeping himself in good shape."