Jussi Jaaskelainen has confessed that he cannot wait for his first training session with his new West Ham United team-mates.

The Finland international goalkeeper has agreed personal terms with the Hammers and will join on 1 July - the day Sam Allardyce and his squad return for the first day of pre-season training. Jaaskelainen, West Ham United's second goalkeeping signing of the summer, will then be offered the perfect opportunity to get to know his new team-mates as the squad fly out for a week's intensive training break in Austria the very next day.

Here, the former Bolton Player of the Year looks ahead to the new season in an exclusive Q+A with whufc.com.

Welcome to West Ham, how are you feeling?
I am delighted to have joined. After spending 15 years in Bolton it's a great challenge and I'm looking forward to it.

How did the move come about?
It happened very quickly. I have worked under Big Sam before and when I heard West Ham were interested I didn't think twice. I asked my agent to arrange it as quickly as possible. Sometimes you're very lucky when things happen and I'm delighted.

You obviously know the manager from your time at Bolton. Was he a big reason you wanted to join?
It's great working with Big Sam and I like the way he manages the players on the field and off the field and how he manages the staff. When you play in the Premier League at the top level, every little detail needs to be looked after and he's one of the best men at doing that. The manager was a big factor in me coming here and challenging myself.

What was it that appealed to you about joining West Ham?
The fans get behind the team really well and they always have a good following at away games. Hopefully I can go on to do a very good for them. It was a big thing to be able to stay in the Premier League as well.

Jussi Jaaskelainen


With some other talented goalkeepers at the club, we assume you'll be coming here to fight for the No1 jersey won't you?
At the start of pre-season we all start at the same place and hopefully I can play at the level I've been playing at over the years. When pre-season starts we will all be working hard and I'm ready for it and looking forward to it.

What are you hoping to achieve with the club?
It will be a new challenge. The deal is for one year with a possible second year and our very first goal has to be to make sure that we keep West Ham United in the Premier League. We can then start to build for the future and hopefully I can be a big part of the start of that.

You're an experienced goalkeeper, what will that add to the squad?
That's the thing. I'm 37 and I think I've got at least three or four more years left yet. One important reason why I wanted to come to West Ham is that I know Big Sam looks after the players in the right way and the right manner. Hopefully I can extend my stay longer than the first year or two.

Finally, have you got any message for the fans and staff at Bolton where you spent 15 years?
Well, firstly I appreciate Bolton giving me permission to speak to West Ham before my contract was up and for the efforts the Chairman made in trying to get me to stay.

I would like to thank the fans for all their support over the years and I will continue to be a fan. I wish the players and, in particular, Owen Coyle, all the best in gaining promotion at the first attempt .

Most importantly I would like to thank Eddie Davies, the owner, Chairman Phil Gartside, Fred Barber, my long-term goalkeeping coach, and all the staff at the club for all of the support and guidance they have shown my family and I.

Season Tickets 2012