Kurucz aiming high

Peter Kurucz has set his sights on appearing in the Barclays Premier League after signing a long-term contract with West Ham United.

The Hungary Under-21 goalkeeper, who initially joined the Hammers on loan from Ujpest FC in February 2009, has formally put pen to paper this week on a permanent contract until the summer of 2013 after the deal was finalised and announced last month.

Kurucz, who is 6'4 tall, made his competitive debut for West Ham in the 2-0 Barclays Premier Reserve League South defeat by Aston Villa on 17 March, going on to make five reserve appearances in total.

The youngster's impressive form was rewarded with a place among the substitutes for the Premier League trip to Everton on 16 May.

Now, the 21-year-old is aiming to impress manager Gianfranco Zola and push No1 Robert Green for a first-team place.

"I am very happy to sign for four years. I think it's very good," said Kurucz. "It's good for me to be at West Ham. I was at Ujpest before and came to England in February.

"I played five or six matches in the reserves last season and enjoyed working with Ludek, who is a very good goalkeeping coach, and also Greeny.

"I hope I will play in the Premier League this season but I think I will play more regularly in the reserve team."

Having previously appeared for Hungary's U21 side, Budapest-born Kurucz, who has spent the summer becoming more familiar with London, has also set his sights on one day earning a senior international cap for his country.

"That would be good. I don't know about the full national team yet but at the moment I hope to be in the Under-21s," he added.

Kurucz is one of a host of promising goalkeepers at the club, with Czech Republic U21 Marek Stech, Canada U20 Adam Street and Turkey U17 Deniz Mehmet all showing great potential.