Aston Villa left-back Nicky Shorey has welcomed the return to fitness of Wilfred Bouma, who has battled back from a serious ankle injury.
The 31-year-old Netherlands international missed almost all of last season after being injured in an Intertoto Cup tie against Odense, but is near to being fit enough to start pre-season training on time.
Shorey told the club's official website: "Villa has competition for places and that's one of the reasons I came here.
"I was as gutted as anyone when Freddy didn't come back as quickly as we all hoped after that horrific injury.
"We just hope he'll be back for pre-season fighting fit now. I think everyone wants to see that and I'm no different. Freddy is a great lad.
"I've come in to the football club and he's made me feel very welcome, which is nice.
"When you're fighting for positions, whoever gets the nod, you've just got to back them fully with your support and, hopefully, whoever misses out gets a chance further down the line."