Hines signs new contract

West Ham United striker Zavon Hines has committed his future to the club until summer 2010 after signing a new contract.

The 20-year-old has had a season to remember, despite being frustrated by injury, having made his first-team bow and also earned an international call. Hines began the 2008/09 campaign on a high after scoring six times in a tremendous pre-season and then struck on his debut for the club in the League Cup tie with Macclesfield Town on 27 August.

Hines has come through the same youth team as James Tomkins, Jack Collison and Freddie Sears and, although a knee problem has frustrated his progress, he said his new deal had given him extra confidence for the future. "I am really happy to sign the contract. I didn't know if I was going to get one but it is good to know the club has a bit of faith in you.

"I just want to show the manager what I can do and repay all the support he has given me. I have got to prove to him that I am worth this contract. He has seen a little bit of what I can do in training but I have just got to try and do my best. Next season has to be the one for me to push on."

Hines has had a couple of reserve games since the turn of the year and is closing on full fitness. He would like to make an impression before the end of the campaign and then surpass what he achieved last summer. "I was doing well in pre-season and I came back last season with the mentality that this is my season and I am going to show what I can do."

Those aspirations were knocked by his training ground injury, although he can at least point to the memory of his senior Boleyn Ground bow. "It is kind of a blur. I was on the bench but I didn't think I was going to get on. I had a few bad touches but I got the goal. My goal now is to get fully fit. There are exciting times ahead and I have just got to keep my head down and focus on what I have got to do."

Hines can also look to international ambitions, having been on the bench for Jamaica in last month's friendly against Nigeria. Manager John Barnes heard he was eligible as he had been born on the island before being raised in east London. "It was a surprise call up. I hadn't been thinking about it. I got the call after training. It was funny to work under him, very different but very professional and it was a good experience. I want to get another chance."