Bodymoor Heath has an army of unsung heroes.
The groundsmen who do a fine job keeping the pitches in pristine condition.
The kitchen staff who have taken all sorts of requests over the years to satisfy players’ needs.
A long-serving receptionist guaranteed to welcome you into the building with a smile.
But deep into Villa’s training facility you will find a woman who the club simply cannot do without.
Player liaison officer Lorna McClelland has significantly helped the club prosper over the years.
She acts as a mother figure for foreign signings and helps them settle into the club by teaching them English.
Her tasks include translating contract talks, finding a school for a new recruit’s child, or counselling during bereavement.
The former language teacher and radio show presenter sets up bank accounts and helps with house moves, too.
Naturally she is an extremely likeable lady which certainly helps. On top of that, though, nothing seems too much trouble.
“Footballers, like anyone else, can sometimes have issues with self esteem, depression, fears and hang-ups,” she said.
“The only difference is their salary and their fame.
“I’m a counsellor, so sometimes I will give a player support with problems in his personal life.
“If there is a problem between himself and another player, he can count on my support and discretion. Everything said in my office remains within those four walls. There may be family deaths, the loss of a baby is not uncommon, relationship problems.
“Over the years, all sorts of problems have come through the door.
“The manager, Paul Lambert, is very sensitive to players’ feelings. He wants a happy camp.”
And that is what he has got at present.
Villa’s first-team stars have spoken about the way this summer’s signings have fitted in with ease.
That’s largely down to McClelland, who was the first-ever player liaison officer in the Premier League when Graham Taylor created the role during his time at Villa in 2002.
She decided on an innovative system that sees all new arrivals paired off with a like-for-like mentor.
For example Spanish-speaking Philippe Senderos has helped Carlos Sanchez while Charles N’Zogbia linked up with Aly Cissokho.
N’Zogbia said: “Aly used to be at Liverpool so he knows a bit about the English culture.
“But when he came here I told him what people do around the place.
“When I first came here I had to learn the rules. Now it is the new players who I have to teach.
“I have to tell them what to do and what to avoid too.
“As long as everyone sticks to the rules everyone will be happy.
“Aly works hard and he is happy.”
Star striker Christian Benteke sees McClelland almost every day – he has done ever since his arrival.
Former team-mate Yacouba Sylla did the same and many former players have spoken glowingly about her help and guidance.
Just imagine if she had been around in the days of, say, Savo Milosevic. What a difference she could have made.
To those on the outside the difficulty of settling into a new country at a young age is sometimes overlooked.
Milosevic was a class act who was undoubtedly affected by the culture shock following his switch from Partizan Belgrade at the tender age of 21.
We’ve seen examples of players struggling to adapt to the new surroundings in recent times, too.
Danish striker Nicklas Helenius never really settled in Birmingham and is now back in homeland at Aalborg.
Villa’s assistant boss Roy Keane now realises how tough it is for players moving over to England from different cultures as he explains in his new book The Second Half.
“With a lot of foreign lads – and I think I understand this a bit more now than I did when I was a young player – it was the culture or the weather – the environment – things that I took for granted.
“I used to have conversations with Ronaldo and Mikael Silvestre, and they’d speak to me about the weather.
“I’d go ‘Lads, when you signed you must have known it rains a lot in Manchester’
“They’d go ‘We knew, but we didn’t know it would be this bad.’
“When we know that a player is getting fifth or sixty grand a week, we don’t have the patience to wait for the foreign players to get used to the environment they’ve moved to.
“If they’re used to going for a cappucccino at half-ten at night, sitting on a balcony somewhere, and all of a sudden it’s dark at half-four and freezing, that is going to change them.
“I know this because they told me.
“What was good, when I first went to United, was that there were people there to help me – the staff and in particular the players.
“Even a gesture from a player to make you feel welcome. It might have been going for a pint – not that I needed encouragement.
“I don’t know if it happens with the foreign players now, but you can’t underestimate it’s importance.”
With McClelland around life is a lot easier for new arrivals and she continues to help shape the Villa team.