Clive Hopeful

Clive Delaney is hopeful that he learned enough in his short time at Upton Park to have warranted a new contract elsewhere.

The 23 year old centre half, signed on a short term contract from University College Dublin in February, was a free transfer after his Dublin deal expired, and he picked the Hammers ahead of Kilmarnock, Bolton, and Bohemians, who had offered him a three year contract.

The man with not one, but two degrees, decided to throw in the job as a trainee chartered accountant with PriceWaterhouseCoopers to step up into the big time, and he says:

"Obviously I enjoyed the couple of months I had at West Ham, and, having had a taste of full time football I'll be looking to continue it and see what is on offer - and hopefully taking it from there.

"I imagine one or two things might be on, but, having said that, I was only over there for two months and played 11 games - so I don't know if that is enough for people to have seen me.

"I'd imagine teams might want to take a look at me before offering me anything; at the moment I am just sitting tight for a while before doing anything.

"Playing reserve team football for any Premiership club is good experience, and training with the players I trained with means I progressed as a player.

"Hopefully that will benefit me now as I look to further my career."

While privately upset that a new deal didn't come his way when the indications, he felt, were otherwise, he also knows he had a superb grounding at Upton Park which could yet provide the springboard for a late entry to professional football - not to mention the fact that he has a good education to fall back on if it doesn't work out.

"That is very much the way it is; I'd have loved to stay - but you can't always have what you want," he signs off.