Sunday 25 September 2016

James Collins signs new West Ham deal

Published 24/12/2015 | 14:01

James Collins
James Collins

James Collins has put pen to paper on a two-year contract extension with West Ham.

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The 32-year-old centre-back would have been out of contract at the end of the season but he has now committed himself to the Hammers until the summer of 2018.

"To be signing for another two years, I can't explain how happy I am to be part of a club that is moving forward and getting bigger and bigger, so to be part of that is unbelievable," he said on the club's official website.

Collins has made 160 appearances for the club across two spells, having rejoined the club in 2012 after a three-year period with Premier League rivals Aston Villa.

He has, though, only made seven league appearances this season with Winston Reid, James Tomkins and new recruit Angelo Ogbonna all seemingly ahead of him in the pecking order.

The Wales international, who has been sent off against Watford and Astra Giurgiu in the Europa League this season, has started West Ham's last two games, helping them keep clean sheets against Stoke and Swansea.

And boss Slaven Bilic on Wednesday revealed he was eager to extend Collins' stay at the club, describing him as a "brilliant professional".

Collins said: "I'm obviously delighted to sign, as it was worrying me a bit that I'd have to leave again.

"I try to be professional, as I've been in teams where players make a negative effect when they're not playing, so I am just proud to be part of such an amazing club.

"I'm happy coming in every morning, whether I'm playing or not playing, and I train hard and try to keep myself fit.

"To be part of such a big club for such a long time, I'm a very lucky boy.

"To sign for another two years is something that, to be honest, looked doubtful at the start of the season, so I got my head down and trained hard and tried to show what I could do."

Collins admitted the prospect of West Ham's move from Upton Park to the new stadium on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park next summer spurred him on to push for a new deal.

"It's massive and that was the biggest thing in my head, really - to be part of something that is moving forward and is so big," he added.

"The thought of not being involved in it was getting me down a little bit.

"The thought of not being involved in this club, and with the fans who I have got a special relationship with and have always been great to me, was playing on my mind.

"As soon as I knew I could get a chance, I had to perform to be involved in that, and fortunately that's what has happened."

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