Danny's Delight

HAMMERS new signing Danny Gabbidon admitted his delight at securing a dream move to Upton Park, after putting pen to paper on a long-term deal that will see the Welsh international feature in the Premier League for the first time.

The 25-year-old is not short on top-level experience, having won 17 Full caps for Wales. And now he can't wait to make the step up to the top-flight with West Ham United.

"As a young kid you dream about playing in the Premier League," he said, "and I can't believe it's happened.

"Without doubt it's a dream come true for me. A move to the Premiership with a massive club like West Ham United is just a fantastic opportunity and now I hope to take advantage."

Despite his international experience Danny has played the majority of his career in the Championship. But the defender is certainly not daunted by making the step up to Premiership level.

"To be honest, I'm relishing the challenge," he admitted. "The Championship is a very good League and I felt that I've learned a lot there.

"But every player wants to play against the top teams in the Premier League and I'm just delighted to have that chance.

"You watch the games and the great players on TV and it makes you want to be up there. I can't wait to test myself against some of the best players in the world and hopefully I can show people what I can do."

Danny is looking forward to the start of pre-season training, where he will get the chance to meet his new team-mates. But the former West Brom trainee knows that he faces a tough fight to win a first-team place.

"Neither me or James Collins are taking anything for granted," explained Danny. "It's going to be very tough to get into the side. There are some excellent players at West Ham United and we're going to be part of a very strong squad.

"The players that won promotion last season did extremely well and it's up to James and myself to prove our worth to Alan Pardew.

"We're certainly not just expecting to walk straight into the team. We have to earn the right to play in the Premiership and that's going to mean a lot of hard work during pre-season.

"It's the Club's first season back in the Premier League and with some new players coming in preparation is going to be all important.

"Hopefully, we can get a good pre-season in and then be ready when the new campaign kicks-off."

Danny spent five years in Cardiff after beginning his career in the Midlands with West Brom. But the likeable Welshman has never lived in the bright lights of London, and he admits having team-mate and friend James Collins on hand will make the move easier.

"It's a bit daunting living in London for the first time," he admitted. "But having James moving at the same time will be a big help for both of us.

"Also, we know a couple of the other Welsh lads in the squad like Carl Fletcher and Gavin Williams. No doubt they'll be showing us around a bit, taking in all the sights.

"They've both told me what a good club West Ham United was and what a fantastic group of lads they had.

"But to be honest, it was a pretty quick decision for me anyway. Everything has happened really fast and now I can't wait to get going."