Spence: why I left West Ham

  • by Staff Writer
  • Wednesday, 3rd August 2011

Jordan Spence has revealed that he joined Bristol City having failed to receive assurances regarding his first team opportunities at West Ham.

Spence, who first arrived at the club as a 14-year-old looked set to leave United at the end of last season having become frustrated with a lack of first team football and with his contract set to expire.

Following protracted negotiations, the defender eventually signed a new three-year deal before appearing in all six of the first team's pre-season fixtures - one of only two players in Sam Allardyce's squad to do so (Cristian Montano being the other).

But earlier this week Spence revealed that instead of looking forward to a breakthrough season at the Boleyn Ground, he was returning to Bristol City - where he spent the latter third of the 2010/11 campaign - on loan for the season.

Although done with a heavy heart, Spence confirmed that it was the promise of regular first team that swayed his mind to an Ashton Gate return.

"I always realised that once this season came, should I not be in the starting eleven - or in the immediate plans [of Sam Allardyce] - then I would like to play first team football," he told bcfc.co.uk.

"My aim at the end of last season was to be playing in the opening day fixtures. It'll be the first time I've ever done that. It was a goal of mine, hence the reason why I'm back here so soon. I wanted to be a part of that and part of a team for the whole season.

"I think it was an easy decision to make. Signing now - for what could potentially be the whole season - just means that's where my focus is, at Bristol City, doing the best I can."

Although West Ham retain the option to recall Spence midway through the loan spell in January, the 21-year-old insists that he would have no qualms at being asked to complete the whole season at City - despite maintaining that his long term goal is to finally break through to the Hammers first team.

"When I went back [last season] on the one hand I was disappointed not to complete the season [at Ashton Gate] given the work I'd done the previous 11, 12 games," he said. "But obviously I was delighted to go back to West Ham and play.

"As everyone knows, I've been there since I was a little boy and my ambition always was to play in the West Ham first team. So that ambition is still there, but the ambition right now is to play for Bristol."

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