China trip excites Collison

Jack Collison is eager for West Ham United's pre-season to move to another level with the arrival in China for the Barclays Asia Trophy.

The 20-year-old midfielder was part of a 23-man strong squad that touched down in a humid Beijing on Monday morning. The Hammers were given a good reception at the airport with a number of photographers and camera crews there to record the occasion. Arriving before Tottenham Hotspur - their opponents on Wednesday - and Hull City, West Ham were soon on their way to the city centre hotel that would be their base for the next week.

After a light meal and a few hours rest to recover from the flight, the squad were scheduled to have an evening training session before a more rigorous work-out on Tuesday. Collison said he could not wait to get started, having already noticed the benefit of the previous two weeks at an Austrian training camp.

"All of the boys are really looking forward to this week in China. Things are slowly starting to come together for the new season. The past two weeks [in Austria] has been all about trying to get our fitness up and trying to get a bit more match fitness. We will really look to enjoy it in China.

"[Austria] was hard work but it's been enjoyable. Instead of having us running all of the time, the manager has had us doing a lot of work with the ball. It is just as hard but enjoyable. It has been hard work but we are fully fit and in a really good frame of mind."

The midweek derby date with Tottenham at the Beijing Workers Stadium - live on Sky Sports in the UK - was firmly in sight. "Every time you play Spurs it is always going to have that added incentive as you always want to get one over them. That is not just for yourself but it is massive for the fans as well so we going to look to really enjoy that game. We definitely want to do well and win the competition."

Collison is not worried about the weather, which as warm as the welcome when they arrived but has the potential for a downpour or two. "If it's raining I don't think it would be a bad thing. Pre-season is all about your match sharpness and getting to know the new players. Jimmy [Luis Jimenez] has come in and already looks like part of the team.

"Spending 12 days together, every day and every night, is great for team spirit and we're going to look to have a real good trip to China and then start the season well."