Tyrone: My hunger to be a Premiership star

New signing Tyrone Mears insists that he is determined to become the next member of Alan Pardew's squad to step up from the Championship and establish himself as a Premiership star.

The 23-year-old right-back has agreed a four-year deal at Upton Park after impressing with Preston North End in recent seasons, and admits that he can't wait to take up the challenge of proving himself among the elite of English football - just as several of his new team-mates did last year.

"I finished the season with Preston and knew that I really needed to move on to a Premiership club for my career to progress," says Tyrone.

"There were a few clubs who showed an interest in signing me but, as soon as I heard that West Ham had made an enquiry, there was only one place I wanted to go.

"It's a fantastic club and a great opportunity for me. I obviously know a bit about West Ham having played against them for Preston in the past couple of years, but I've always been aware of how big a club it is and I'm absolutely delighted to have signed.

"You look at West Ham now and the squad is full of young, talented British players. I've seen the likes of Danny Gabbidon and Nigel Reo-Coker step up from the lower divisions and prove themselves as top-class Premiership players, and that is the ambition I have for myself."

Having completed his move from Preston on Wednesday evening, the former Manchester City trainee met up with his new team-mates this morning during their pre-season fitness tests at Chadwell Heath, having already been impressed by what Alan Pardew had to say during their transfer talks.

"I met the manager at the start of the week," says Tyrone, "but he didn't have to sell the club to me - I would have signed without seeing him, to be honest!

"It was good to meet him, though, and discover what his thoughts and plans for me were. We just talked football, really, and from listening to what he had to say about the players at the Club, I'm can't wait to start training with all the lads.

"I'm hungry and determined to prove that I can be a real asset to West Ham United. They have shown a lot of faith in me and I just want to repay that faith as soon as I can by performing at the top level every week."