Rice signs new deal until 2020
- Defender Declan Rice has signed a new three-and-a-half-year deal with West Ham United
- Rice has been in brilliant form this season, captaining the U23s and appearing on the bench for the first team on Boxing Day
- The 18-year-old said it's an "amazing feeling" to have signed his new deal
Defender Declan Rice has pledged his long-term future to West Ham United, signing a new contract to keep him at the club until 2020.
The 18-year-old is captain of the PL2 side and has enjoyed a brilliant season under the guidance of Terry Westley and Liam Manning.
Rice was also on the bench for Slaven Bilic’s first team in the Boxing Day win at Swansea City and said he is pleased to have been rewarded with a new 3-and-a-half-year deal.
“I’m delighted to have been rewarded with a new contract,” said Rice. “It has been an amazing season for me, I think I’ve kicked on and progressed.
“I’m happy now that the contract has been signed and I can just focus on trying to improve even more and hopefully get a game for the first team before the end of the season.
“After the season I’ve had, being on the bench for the first team and captaining the U23s in every game, it’s been amazing. I’ve trained with the first team quite a bit as well and that makes me want to kick on even more.”
Rice joined West Ham from Chelsea as a youngster and quickly became one of the hottest prospects at the Academy of Football.
He made his U18s debut in 2014 and was named the Dylan Tombides Academy Player of the Year at the end of the following season. His development has continued this season after being named as U23s captain at the start of the campaign.
Rice has also experienced playing on the international stage – he was selected for the Republic of Ireland U21s at the age of just 17 after impressing for the U19s.
“I got my first call up for the U21s a couple of months ago and that was a great experience to be with a different set of lads and learn from coaches who have a different style,” Rice continued.
“We’ve got the Euros with the U19s coming up next month and I haven’t been with them in a while so I cannot wait to play with them again.”