It was a bittersweet weekend for Socceroos midfielder Chris Herd, who was offered a new deal with his Barclays Premier League club Aston Villa before being sidelined with an ankle injury for the team's 2-0 loss to Liverpool.
It was a bittersweet weekend for Qantas Socceroos midfielder Chris Herd, who was offered a new deal with his Barclays Premier League club Aston Villa before being sidelined with an ankle injury for the team's 2-0 loss to Liverpool.
The 22-year-old is set to put pen to paper on a deal that will keep him at Villa until 2015.
Herd, whose Perth-based parents had flown to the UK to see him in action for the first time, but was ruled out just hours before kick-off due to an ankle knock.
"It will be the first time they've seen me in a Villa match live," Herd said of his parents attendance in the lead-up to the Liverpool match.
"My two older sisters have been over before and I've had family come down from Scotland as well. Both my parents originally come from Scotland," Herd said.
Karen and William Herd will stay in the UK to spend Christmas with their son, who originally made the trip from Perth as a 15-year-old schoolboy to play with Villa.
Herd, who names Socceroos and Everton star Tim Cahill as the player who inspires him the most, has impressed Villa manager Alex McLeish.
"He's a whole-hearted boy," he said. "He has fantastic application. He trains like a beast every day and is a good role model to any player in terms of his attitude."
Meanwhile, Cahill again failed to get on the scoresheet as Everton settled for a 1-1 draw with Norwich City at Goodison Park.
The 32-year-old, who has not scored in the EPL for over 12 months, was replaced on 60 minutes by Argentinian Denis Stracqualursi.
Conversely, Brett Holman is not having any trouble scoring goals and the attacking midfielder was on target for AZ Alkmaar in their 2-1 defeat to NAC Breda in the Eredivisie.
In the Scottish Premier League, defender Ryan McGowan was in outstanding form, setting up their second goal, as Hearts thrashed Dunfermline Athletic 4-0.
Meanwhile, Aaron Mooy came on as a substitute as St Mirren drew 1-1 with Motherwell while Matt mcKay failed to get off the bench for Rangers in their 2-1 win over Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
In the nPower Championship, goalkeeper Adam Federici kept another clean sheet as Reading grabbed a vital 1-0 win over Patrick Kisnorbo's Leeds United at Elland Road. The win lifts Reading to within two points of the play-off berths.
Richard Garcia continued his return from a lengthy injury-enforced absence as a late substitute in Hull City 2-0 win over Shane Lowry's Millwall, while Neil Kilkenny played was substituted late on in Bristol City's goalless draw with Nottingham Forest.
Elsewhere in Europe, Australian players found game time hard to come by. Matthew Leckie and Mitch Langerak kept the bench warm in the Bundesliga while Tommy Oar and Michael Zullo weren't called upon by FC Utrecht for their match against Groningen.
Nathan Burns, who has been linjked with a move back to Australia in the January transfer window, came on at half-time for AEK Athens in their Greek Super League clash wioth Atromitos but couldn't prevent a 1-0 defeat.