Big year for Brown

Jordan Brown is fighting fit and ready for the biggest season of his career.

Still only 19, the Hammers left-back has put to paper on a new contract and is eager to make up for lost time. Last season, Brown was on a roll and looking set to stake a claim for the left-back berth only for disaster to strike with a thigh injury in December.

"I was doing well," Brown told West Ham TV. "Just as I started to be doing well until Christmas and just as I started to be involved with the first team, I got injured in a training session and it just went on and on.

"I never played again until the last friendly of the season when I got the last half hour. I missed quite a bit of it. Maybe it happened for a reason, you never know."

Brown is refusing to dwell on the disappointment of just seven reserve-team appearances last season, nor the hurt of watching the club he has represented since he was seven being relegated to the Championship.

There is a new start for all at Chadwell Heath and Brown wants 2011/12 to be a season to remember - with the first step being travelling with the first-team squad to Switzerland this weekend in the hope of competing with Herita Ilunga for the left-back berth.

"I am looking forward to it. It is a big thing for me to sign again. It is another big step towards where I want to be and hopefully I will make the most of it."

The youngster, who hails from Benfleet in south Essex, added: "It is going to be a new start for everyone. The manager is not going to know us young boys and we have to see who can get in.

"For the younger players there will be more games and the coaches will need more bodies I want to do as much as I can in pre-season and get as many games as I can.

"This season could be the one. I told my family that this could be the biggest season I have ever had, and I need to show what I can do. It can only take one game and you have to take your chance when it comes."

Talking of families, Brown said he would not be contemplating the chance he has now if it was not for their superb support. "I wouldn't have been able to do it. I had to get to training every day before I was driving. To have them around and be able to talk to them before and after games, it helps a lot."