The 27-year-old defender signed for Villa under Tim Sherwood for free after his contract with City ran out earlier in the summer.
After spending a lot of his time as a right-back with City, Richards is determined to move into central defence as he looks to a successful debut season at Villa Park.
He told Sky Sports: "I always said when I got older I wanted to play centre-half, and I think that time has come now.
"I'm getting old now, aren't I!? No, I feel in good shape and hopefully I can have a good pre-season. I feel as though my good years can still be ahead of me."