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Garcia is looking forward to West Ham return

PUBLISHED: 13:48 29 May 2008 | UPDATED: 13:20 05 October 2010

FORMER Hammer Richard Garcia is on top of the world and back in the top flight after helping Hull City win promotion to the Premier League last weekend. Hull overcame Bristol City in the play-off final at Wembley on Saturday to reach the highest tier of E

FORMER Hammer Richard Garcia is on top of the world and back in the top flight after helping Hull City win promotion to the Premier League last weekend.

Hull overcame Bristol City in the play-off final at Wembley on Saturday to reach the highest tier of English football for the first time in their 104-year history.

Australia international Garcia, who starred alongside Joe Cole and Michael Carrick in West Ham's FA Youth Cup winning side in 1999, played the full 90 minutes for Phil Brown's side.

And he revealed that he is already excited about the prospect of returning to Upton Park next season.

"I am looking forward to it and it will be fantastic to come and play at West Ham again," said Garcia, who made 16 appearances in five years at the club before joining Colchester United in 2004.

"I only have good memories of my time there. Sure it was disappointing not to have gone further there, but I was certainly given the best start to my career in England."

Garcia was one of the key performers in the run to the Youth Cup final, setting a record by scoring in every round up to and including the final and finishing the competition with eight goals.

He signed professional forms at Upton Park in 1999 and had a successful loan spell at Leyton Orient the following year, but a knee ligament injury interrupted his progress and he was released by Alan Pardew.

Yet Garcia still retains fond memories of his experience at West Ham and he insists he holds no bitterness about his failure to make the grade at the Boleyn Ground.

"I spent my growing-up years at West Ham, a very important time in anyone's life, and I won't ever forget it," he said.

"There is that fine line [between success and failure] but at the same time you've just got to keep reaching for your goals.

"It's been my dream to play in the Premier League and my quest to get there I suppose is complete."

Garcia's determination to return to the pinnacle of the English game was rewarded when Hull capped a remarkable season by winning promotion through the play-offs.

And the midfielder revealed his delight at finally achieving something as a senior player to rank alongside his feats as a trainee at West Ham.

"I remember when I first arrived in London I flew over the old Twin Towers and that was the first sight I had of the city," said Garcia.

"Playing at Wembley is up there with anything I've achieved in my career, and that includes my first appearance [for West Ham at Leeds United] in the Premier League.


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