Collison in captaincy bid
PUBLISHED: 17:59 26 June 2008 | UPDATED: 13:23 05 October 2010
By JONATHAN CLEGG BOBBY Moore held the role with distinction, Billy Bonds led by example – now Jack Collison hopes to become the next great West Ham captain. Teenager Collison has outlined his ambition to lead out the Hammers following a successful seaso
By JONATHAN CLEGG
BOBBY Moore held the role with distinction, Billy Bonds led by example - now Jack Collison hopes to become the next great West Ham captain.
Teenager Collison has outlined his ambition to lead out the Hammers following a successful season as skipper of the reserve side.
Collison was handed the armband by reserve boss Kevin Keen at the start of the last campaign and the midfielder responded by leading the team to a surprise title challenge in the Barclays Premier Reserve League.
Now the 19-year-old has revealed that he hopes to follow in the footsteps of Moore and Bonds by leading out the senior side at the Boleyn Ground.
"That would be a great honour one day to captain the first team at West Ham," said Collison. "I think that is a few years down the line [but] that's what dreams are made of, isn't it?"
Collison has enjoyed a meteoric rise since he was promoted to Alan Curbishley's first-team squad for pre-season training last summer.
The midfielder's promising displays as captain of the club's second-string side earned him the first of five Wales Under-21 caps last year and he made his first-team debut away to Arsenal on New Year's Day.
The teenager's first Premier League start came at Bolton Wanderers in April and his breakthrough season finished on a high with the elevation to the full Wales team for last month's international friendly against the Netherlands.
Collison believes that the added responsibility of captaining the reserves was the driving force behind his improvement as a player.
"To captain the reserves was a great honour," he said. "I have really enjoyed captaining them and it helped me improve as a player and also off the pitch with the added responsibility. I am a player who thrives off that responsibility."
Collison will continue to develop his leadership qualities as reserve team skipper this season and he revealed that he is eager to emulate club captain Lucas Neill, whose influence has made a big impact on the talented youngster.
"I learned a lot from Lucas Neill, watching the way he captains the first team," Collison said. "I am just hoping to take a bit of that into what I do with the reserve team.
"On and off the pitch, he sets a good example. He does a lot of work that not many people get to see.
"He organises a lot of team-building things, has a lot of meetings and makes sure everyone knows what is going on.
"It is good to have a captain like that. He is someone to look up to.
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