Izzie: I'll Sign Soon

Izzie Iriekpen will become the third of the out of contract players offered a deal this summer to sign up in the next few days.

The young centre half, who has been beset by injuries in the last couple of seasons, feared - as did Glenn Roeder - that his career could be coming to an end before it had even started properly, such was the degree of his knee problem.

But, like veterans Nigel Winterburn and John Moncur, Izzie is now looking forward to fulfilling a new, one year, contract.

Unlike those two, however, who will play out their last season at Upton Park, Izzie hopes it is the springboard to a long career.

"I can't wait to get back into training," he says, "and for the season to start again - I am looking forward to it.

"It was my last year, so it was a relief to be offered a new deal. I will sign soon, I hope, and there are no problems.

"And I have already been told that I will be offered another deal if it goes well next year. It is good to know that the gaffer thinks highly of me and I hope I can repay him by showing him what I can do.

"I just want to do what I enjoy doing, which is to play football - and the injuries are behind me - definitely."

Izzie knows there is real competition for a centre half spot, and adds: "There are so many good players like Tomas Repka, who I can learn from, there's also Christian Dailly, Ian Pearce, and Hayden Foxe who has been injured, but I have confidence in my own ability and hopefully if get my chance, I can take it."

Izzie does not think his tender age - he just turned 20 this month - will count against him, and he adds: "The manager will give you an opportunity if you are good enough. Michael and Joey are established, Jermain has come through, and Richard Garcia is coming on."