For James Collins, returning to West Ham United feels like coming home.

The Wales defender, who has joined the Hammers on a four-year contract from Aston Villa, became a Hammers hero during a four-year spell at the club between 2005 and 2009.

Now he is back at the Boleyn Ground, the 28-year-old has told West Ham TV of his delight at returning to east London and his high hopes of impressing on the club's return to the Barclays Premier League.

Welcome back Ginge! How does it feel to be a West Ham United player again?

JC - "It's great to be back. Obviously having been here before and coming back and seeing some of the same old faces is great. As soon as I knew the interest was there from West Ham I couldn't wait to get down and sign. I had a great affinity with the club and the fans when I was here the first time and I enjoyed my time here so much last time that it wasn't a hard decision to make, to be honest.

So, is it a bit of a case of unfinished business?

JC - "I think everyone knew that I didn't really want to leave when I did [in 2009] because I was enjoying my time here so much. I've come back and I'm a much better player this time around so I can't wait to get cracking and show the fans that I am a better player and can put in the performances on the pitch."

You must have great memories, particularly from getting to the 2006 FA Cup final and the 2007 Great Escape? What were your highlights first-time around?

JC - "I've got so many good memories - getting into the FA Cup final in my first season and finishing so high [ninth] in the league and then the way we escaped relegation that year was one of my fondest memories in football. Hopefully I won't have too many more memories like that! I just cannot wait to get back and show the fans what a better player I am now."

You have a great affinity with the supporters and also know a fair number of players from your first spell - Mark Noble, George McCartney, Cole, James Tomkins - and our Welsh contingent of Jack Collison, Martyn Margetson and sports therapist Taka Yamamoto! So, will it be easier to fit in among so many familiar faces?

JC - "It's easy to come back and fit back in. Even walking around the place today it was like I have never been away. The boys being here will help massively and I should slip back in nice and easily."

What do you think we can achieve on our return to the Barclays Premier League?

JC - "I think we can have a great season with the players we have signed in the off-season, and I'm sure the Board are trying to bring in a few more new faces as well, and the players already here who did so well in the Championship last year. I don't think we should have been down there and I think it was a bit of a false position for the club, so we're looking to get off to a good start and then anything is possible."

James Collins

The club looks to be heading in the right direction under Sam Allardyce. Was the manager's presence a factor in your return?

JC - "My game is based on giving 100 per cent and even if I'm not doing so well in a game I'll always stick my head in and give 100 per cent. That's the way I've been playing since I was a kid and that's what the fans can expect from me. Hopefully I can bring a bit more to the team than what we have already got. I can see the improvements they have made around the training ground and around the stadium. The thing about West Ham is that it's a real family club and it's like I've never been away. Everyone is so friendly that it makes it a lot easier to perform on the pitch and hopefully we can do that this season."

James Tomkins and WInston Reid both did very well last season at centre-back. Are you expecting to have to fight for your place after a few seasons as a regular starter for West Ham and Aston Villa?

JC - "The two boys who are here at the minute have got the shirt and did very well last season. I watched West Ham last season and saw that they did very well so obviously it's going to be tough to get into the team in the first place. I'm going to train hard and hopefully I can get a place in the team."

Finally, a look at the fixture list and we have a games you must be looking forward to in our opening Premier League matches - Aston Villa at home!

JC - "It's crazy! When I was at Villa I obviously knew we were playing West Ham first game and I was looking forward to it so much. Now, it's even more so the other way because I'll be playing for West Ham and hopefully I can give the team an insight into how they're going to play."

Season Ticket General Sale