Dailly Signs New Deal

WEST Ham United is delighted to announce that Christian Dailly has signed a new contract with the Club.

The 31-year-old defender first arrived at Upton Park in January 2001 and has since become a stalwart of the Hammers first-team, making 144 appearances and scoring four goals.

Serious injury limited his participation last season, but showing tremendous determination Dailly returned to play a part in the Play-offs and help West Ham United win promotion back to the Premiership.

The experienced Scottish international admitted his delight at putting a tough year behind him by signing a new contract at the Boleyn Ground.

"It's great to have re-signed with West Ham United," he exclaimed. "It's been a difficult season for me on and off the pitch, but all I want to do is play football for this Club and I'm delighted that I'll be able to continue to do that in the Premier League next season.

"Of course, winning promotion back to the top-flight makes signing a new contract with the Club even more special. But I always said that I'd play for West Ham United in any division, and now after coming back from all the injuries, I'm just looking forward to getting back into pre-season and starting the campaign injury free.

"West Ham United is a Premier League club and it's great to be back there again. The celebrations after the Play-off Final showed how much it means to the fans to be back in the top-flight and I'm just honoured to be given a chance to be a part of that."

With a wealth of Premier League experience under his belt, Christian's presence in the squad will be invaluable to Alan Pardew next season. And the Scotland star believes Hammers have enough talented young players to make an impact on English's footballs elite next season.

"The first year back is always tough," he admitted, "and from our point of view the first aim is going to be consolidating our position. For a lot of the players this is going to be a new experience, but we've got some tremendous young players in the squad who have shown already that they've got enough character to handle the step up.

"We're all going to have to pull together as a Club, which means the players, fans, staff and everyone associated with West Ham United working hard together to ensure that we keep progressing next season.

"It's going to be a fantastic feeling for the whole Club to be back in the Premier League, but now the target has got to be to keep West Ham United there and make sure we establish ourselves in the top League again.

"It's not going to be easy, but every one of the squad is up for the challenge and we're going to give it our best shot."

During his distinguished career it is hard to imagine Christian has ever been so excited about the prospect of a new season. Much of that is born out of the frustration and heartache the defender experienced last season, as he battled back from a knee operation while coping with the tragedy of losing his father to cancer.

Now Christian is delighted to report that he is injury free and in some of the best shape of his entire career.

"I'm totally injury free," he enthused, "which after a long and difficult season battling to get fit is a great feeling. I just can't wait for the season to start and I can really get back playing again.

"Last season I had a few niggling problems which set me back. But I was so determined to get back for the Play-offs and to come through and get on in the Final was such a tremendous feeling. It gave me a huge buzz.

"In fact, I think I'm probably fitter now than I've ever been simply because of all the specific fitness work I was doing while I couldn't work with the ball. I feel in really good shape, and for that I have to thank all the medical staff at the Club because they've been instrumental in my recovery.

"I even played back-to-back internationals for Scotland at right wing-back recently, which is hard enough when you've been playing regularly, let alone when you've been out for almost a year!"

Certainly, Christian's ability to fill more than one position will prove vital for Alan Pardew in the Premiership. A centre-back by trade, Christian featured as a defensive midfielder in the Play-off games and is comfortable anywhere along the back four.

"I said to Alan Pardew when I came back for the Play-offs that he could use me anywhere and I'd be glad to do a job," he said. "I feel that I can play in a few different positions and wherever I can be of help to the team then I'll play.

"After so long out I just can't wait to play again and to be honest the season can't come quickly enough."