West Ham United are pleased to announce that Jussi Jaaskelainen has signed a new one-year contract with the Club.
The hugely experienced goalkeeper will spend a third season with the Hammers after putting pen to paper on the deal. Now 39, the Mikkeli-born stopper has played an important role following West Ham's return to the Barclays Premier League in 2012, keeping 19 clean sheets in 59 top-flight appearances over the past two seasons.
A former Finland international with 56 caps to his name, Jaaskelainen kept eight clean sheets last season as West Ham registered 14 in total on their way to finishing 13th in the table. Having secured his future at the Club, Jaaskelainen is hoping to add to that tally next term by challenging Spaniard Adrian for the No1 position.
"I'm delighted to sign for another season and I'm really looking forward to it," he said. "Hopefully I can put in a proper challenge to get a starting place again. Physically, I feel good now and I felt good last season so I hope I can carry on from there and play football.
"You never know what is going to happen next season, but the only thing in my mind is to get myself ready to play.
"I am looking forward so that when that next chance comes, I will be in the right shape and right frame of mind to take it. That's all I'm thinking about now. Obviously we all know that, whoever is in the squad, we all want to fight for that starting place, so let's see. We're all looking forward to next season.
"I want to try my best and I'm going to give it a proper go to play well, so the first thing I have to do is look after myself to make sure I'm in good shape and a good frame of mind."
Jaaskelainen says it is important that West Ham avoid the stresses of last season's flirtation with relegation by making a strong start in 2014/15 - just as they did by taking 14 points from the opening eight matches in his first season in east London.
"Last season was a bit disappointing as in the early part things didn't really work out because we didn't really score enough goals and then we got injury problems. If you look at it, we finished 13th, having had a difficult season, so it's not the end of the world. We have to make sure we're ready for this coming season.
"In our first season back in the Premier League, we started well, but last season we didn't get those points on the board early on and that's what created the pressure and all the injuries just made it worse. We have to make sure we're ready for this coming season so we can start well."
Looking back on his illustrious career, the goalkeeper played more than 100 games for Mikkelin Palloilijat and Vaasan Palloseura in his native Finland before joining Bolton in 1997 for a fee of just £100,000.
After helping Sam Allardyce's Trotters gain promotion to the Premier League via the Play-Offs in 2001, the 6'3 tall stopper helped to establish Bolton as a top-flight force, achieving four consecutive top-eight finishes between 2003/04 and 2006/07.
Jaaskelainen was also instrumental in helping the Lancashire club to finish as 2004 League Cup runners-up and twice reach the knockout stages of the UEFA Cup. While at the Reebok Stadium, the Finn played regularly alongside the likes of Kevin Nolan and Joey O'Brien.
In all, Jaaskelainen made 371 Premier League appearances for Bolton and was voted the club's Player of the Year in 2007. The same year, he was also voted Finnish Footballer of the Year.
In his first season at West Ham following his switch to east London in June 2012, Jaaskelainen was an ever-present, keeping eleven clean sheets as the Hammers finished tenth in the table.
His consistency earned Jaaskelainen runner-up in the 2013 Hammer of the Year award voting, while he also won the Save of the Season award and finished third in the Signing of the Season and Individual Performance of the Season categories.
Last season, the veteran again began the season as No1, featuring 18 times in the Barclays Premier League, taking his total number of appearances in England's top division to 435 - 20th on the all-time list.
The announcement of Jaaskelainen's deal follows the signing of Argentine forward Mauro Zarate from Velez Sarsfield and the arrival of former England striker Teddy Sheringham as the Club's new attacking coach.