It’s hardly surprising that a 19-year-old lad is interested in Big Brother and Twitter.
Yet in Gary Gardner’s case, the big brother in question is footballing sibling Craig rather than some fame-hungry reality show and, as for social networking, he now tweets to a close circle of 17,230 friends – and counting.
Gardner is no ordinary teenager. But Aston Villa have known that for years, with the midfielder long regarded as one of the most promising youngsters to roll off their Bodymoor Heath production line.
Which is why the relaxed, modest and humble way Gardner has handled his recent emergence onto Alex McLeish’s first team scene is a credit to him and to his down-to-earth family – yes, even Craig.
Gardner’s big brother might have burned his bridges with most of the claret and blue faithful when he declared his undying love to Birmingham City upon controversially crossing the Second City divide two years ago.
However, the grounded Gardner temperament Craig displayed while making his name at Villa is a family trait Gary shares, along with that identical Brummie accent.
And while the Holte End might struggle to forgive Craig, 25, for his defection and his Bluenose allegiances, Gary views his big bro as a positive influence on his career.
“Craig has been a massive help to me being an older brother who has come through the Villa ranks,” admits Gary, who made his full Villa debut in last month’s win at Wolves after a couple of cameo appearances from the substitutes bench.
“I used to watch him every single game – youth team, reserves and then into the first team. We still speak every day and we’re really close and Craig has been a role model to me.
"I look up to him a lot and without him I don’t think I’d be where I am. We are very alike, we certainly sounds the same. When the phone rings, Craig picks up my phone!
“There are six of us all together and we all sound quite similar so people get confused because no-one knows who it is.
"Even my mum and dad get confused sometimes – if they get a call and don’t recognise the number, they think I’m Craig. But Craig is a massive role model to me and I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him.”
Gary has already followed in Craig’s footsteps by progressing from junior to senior level with Villa, but the younger brother hopes to kick on further by making a first team place his own.
Craig was forced to seek regular football at bitter rivals Birmingham City in January 2010 after struggling to force his way into Martin O’Neill’s starting XI on a regular basis and is now playing under his former Villa manager at Sunderland, where he is battling homesickness.
“That’s football,” said Gary. “Craig had a chance at Villa but didn’t get as many chances as he wanted to.
"But he’s proved that he can score goals from midfield which is what I like to do as well. Hopefully I can get more chances here and cement a spot in the midfield.”
An increasing number of Twitter followers would endorse his claims for a regular place, and he is eager to repay his cyber supporters.
“Using Twitter tops the day off I think,” added Gary. “When you’ve played on a Saturday and you’re at home watching Match Of The Day, reading all your tweets when you’ve done well is great.
"I wish I could reply to every fan but I’d be there all night. I generally do one message to just thank all the Villa fans and I appreciate all of the support they give me. Hopefully I can repay that.”