'I'm very excited about my future'

West Ham United starlet Elliot Lee is setting his sights on a successful 2014/15 campaign after putting pen to paper on a new two-and-a-half year deal with the Club.

Nineteen-year-old Lee looks destined to miss the final weeks of the season with an ankle injury, but is excited nonetheless at what the future holds.

An eventful 12 months have seen the teenage forward make his first Barclays Premier League appearance for the Hammers and celebrate a maiden senior goal while on loan at Colchester United. And though it may not all have gone precisely to plan, Lee reckons the new contract has come at the perfect time.

He told West Ham TV: "I'm really pleased. It has been in the balance for quite a while now and I'm happy we've got it all sorted and I'm looking forward to the future.

"There was a friendly [against Leyton Orient] and unfortunately I've torn a ligament in my ankle which probably puts me out for the remainder of the season. It's going to take about eight weeks until it's back to normal, but I'm looking at the positives. I'll be back fitter and stronger for pre-season and will hopefully push on from there.

"I was on a downer missing the end of the season but signing a new contract puts me up again and I'm looking forward to next season and hopefully there are good things to look forward to.

"I'm missing the last few weeks of training and games. Obviously I would have liked to have maybe got a chance toward the end of this season, but hopefully now I can push in pre-season, impress a few people and see what happens."

Reflecting on the past year, Lee acknowledged that he had gained a great deal from a month spent on loan with the U's and expects the experience to stand him in good stead. That said, last season's Academy Player of the Year admits he has plenty to learn and is keen to further his development in senior football.

He continued: "There have been good times and bad times, like any season. I'd say overall it has been an OK season, hopefully it'll be better next season and I'm sure there are better things to come.

"Every day that I train, I'm learning and progressing and I want to get better every single day that I come into training.

"I learned a lot from my loan spell, I really did. It was a good experience at Colchester and I'm happy to have got my first goal. I've come back a better player and I look forward to maybe playing in the first team next season or another loan.

"I think it's great to get out there and learn your trade at a senior level, being around senior players. It's nice to be around a first team and playing league football, which is a really good experience for us all."

As for his future at the Hammers, Lee is relishing the prospect of a further two-and-a-half years at the Club that he calls home. Lee has now spent some 12 years in Claret and Blue and is thrilled that the Hammers continue to show faith in him and his ability.

"I hope it [the future] holds bright things. I'm very excited about my future at this Club. I've been here since I was seven, so my dream is to play for the first team one day and hopefully that will happen.

"I'm really happy to sign this new deal and like I said I've been here since a young age, so I only want to play for West Ham and I'm happy that I'm here for another few years and I look forward to hopefully playing in the first team.

"All I want to do is play football, so that was the only decision to be made. I believe that I can play for this first team one day and that's the aim.

"It's any boy's dream to play for the first team and I've had two appearances now from the bench and I hope there will be many more to come. Once you get a little taste of it, you want more and more. Unfortunately it hasn't worked out for me that way this season, but hopefully next season will be a different story."