Downing keen to keep Friedel
Stewart Downing has backed Brad Friedel to carry on playing for Aston Villa beyond the summer.
Last Updated: 03/02/11 9:12am
Stewart Downing has backed Brad Friedel to carry on playing for Aston Villa despite becoming the club's oldest ever player.
The American goalkeeper eclipsed the previous record set by Ernest Callaghan when, at the age of 39 years and 259 days, he lined up against Manchester United earlier this week.
Friedel's contract expires this summer, by which time he will have turned 40, and he does not plan to make a decision on whether to continue until nearer the end of the season.
Villa manager Gerard Houllier has already started to search for other keepers in anticipation of a possible retirement, but Downing hopes Friedel will be offered a new deal.
"We found out before the game that Brad became the eldest player to play for Villa," the winger said in the Daily Mirror.
"I'm sure he'll get a bit of stick from the lads now.
"Brad can definitely carry on.
"I know he does yoga. Ryan Giggs uses it and he runs about like he's still 17 so there must be something in it."