Sears signs for five years

West Ham United are delighted to confirm that Freddie Sears has become the latest striker to commit his long-term future to the club.

Sears signed a five-year contract on Wednesday evening, meaning he like Dean Ashton and Carlton Cole is tied to the club until 2013. The England Under-19 international hit the headlines last March with a debut winner against Blackburn Rovers and has followed that up with three league starts this campaign, as well as seven appearances off the bench.

"I am obviously delighted to have signed for another five years with West Ham," said Sears. "I am looking forward to concentrating on football now and getting ready for the next game that is coming up. It's nice to know the club wants you here, for that long as well. I am enjoying my football and all that I have been doing and hopefully I can now show there is more to come."

The striker, who turns 19 on Thursday, scored 25 goals in 24 matches for the youth and reserve teams last season and has six strikes from five appearances at those levels this time around. He added: "Last year was getting in and around the team and now I am looking to keep building on what I have been doing - getting more chances of playing week in, week out and showing people what I can do.

"Obviously I am learning every day, I am 19 tomorrow and just trying to get better all the time and see how far I can go. It's been great to be in and around the first team, travelling to games and all of that, now to be part of the team itself is great and something I am determined to continue. It's good to be part of the team, we win together and lose together, it's good to be part of it. The team spirit is really good and I am enjoying being part of it all."

West Ham United CEO Scott Duxbury said: "Freddie Sears signing a new long-term contract is great news for everyone at the club. He has more than impressed since scoring on his Premier League debut last season.

"Our philosophy is very much about developing homegrown players in the academy and then integrating them into the first team. Freddie has achieved that and we are looking forward to him playing his part in a bright future for West Ham United."