Aston Villa assistant Craig Shakespeare cannot wait for kick-off

Assistant boss Craig Shakespeare admits he can’t wait to hear Villa Park in full voice this season.

Craig Shakespeare.
Craig Shakespeare.

Restrictions on attendances at sporting venues ended today and the 2021/22 is set to begin with capacity crowds.

Shakespeare joined Dean Smith’s coaching team a year ago ahead of a season which was played almost entirely behind closed doors, with a reduced number of supporters allowed in for the final two matches.

Villa will be backed by a 3,425-strong travelling support when they open their pre-season at Walsall on Wednesday night. Shakespeare spent 10 years with the Saddlers during his playing career and is looking forward to going back to the Banks’s. He said: “When you spend 10 years at a club there is always an interest. They are saying it might be a sell-out. We have really missed the crowd and it will be good to see them back.

“What surprised me in the game against Chelsea (at the end of last season) was the noise a quarter of the crowd makes.

“I have been on the receiving end of it, with other clubs, in terms of the noise they make. I think it will be great to see the ground full again.”

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