Collison signs new deal

The club are delighted to announce that Wales international midfielder Jack Collison has signed a new long-term contract with West Ham United.

The 22-year-old, who has been with the Hammers for six years, has chalked up 53 first-team appearances and five goals since making his debut at Arsenal on New Year's Day 2008. He was voted Young Hammer of the Year for 2008/09.

Collison has also earned ten senior caps for Wales, appearing most recently in Wednesday's 2-1 friendly defeat by Australia in Cardiff.

The player was naturally delighted to commit his future to the club that snapped him up from non-league Cambridge United in summer 2005 and spoke positively about the foundations being laid by manager Sam Allardyce.

"Obviously it's great for me personally to know that I can now get my head down and concentrate on my football," he said. "That's the most important thing for me to do now - get my head down, do my business on the pitch and have a good season.

"It's nice to have the security of knowing my future is with West Ham United. I look around and see what they are building and I want to be part of the future. Fingers crossed, I'll work hard and hope I can do the business."

Collison himself returned to club action in July after a long lay-off with a knee injury. Now fit and ready for duty, the No10 made three appearances at the tail-end of last season before appearing as a substitute in Sunday's npower Championship opener against Cardiff City.

With the likes of Scott Parker and Mark Noble complemented by new signings Kevin Nolan and Matt Taylor, Collison knows he will have to play well to earn a place in Allardyce's starting XI.

"We definitely have competition for places in the midfield, but that's what you want because it brings the best out of everyone," he added.

"We're all fighting to get into the starting XI, but it's a long old season and the manager has already said it's about having a good squad and a big squad and we feel we have that here and we are working together and looking to get promoted."

While the Watford-born player was pleased to pull on the red of Wales in midweek, he is now eager to don the claret and blue on a regular basis, starting with Saturday's trip to Doncaster Rovers.

"It was nice to get a run out for the Welsh team. Obviously it was a few more minutes of pre-season for me because I haven't played too many minutes yet. I'm obviously looking to be involved on Saturday and to keep progressing."