15:03 18th June 2013
And right-back determined to prove Clarke right after signing new deal
STEVEN Reid has set his sights on earning another Albion contract - and finishing his career in the Barclays Premier League with the Baggies - after this week signing a new one-year Hawthorns deal.
The 32-year-old right-back insists his passion is stronger now than in the first of the ten consecutive top-flight seasons he has under his belt.
And he is eager to prove he still has what it takes to compete at the highest level after turning his back on serious interest in his services from the Championship and abroad.
“It’s the outcome I wanted,” said Reid.
“I weighed everything up. My family are happy where they are, I’m happy at the football club, and I have a great relationship with the football staff and everyone at the club.
“The medical department here have been brilliant for me, they know how to manage my body – and that is another key factor in me staying.
“I did have a couple of other options here and abroad.
“I spoke to a couple of managers I have a lot of respect for and I was flattered by the interest.
“But I think all along I made it known to them my priority would be to stay at West Brom if I could get a deal that was right for me.”
He added: “The Premier League is the best league in the world.
“I’ve had options over the years to go to different countries and different leagues.
“But for me, the Premier League is the top league in the world.
“Every weekend is an event, there is so much excitement around every game, and there are cameras everywhere.
“There is obviously a lot of pressure that comes with that – but it’s where you want to be.
"Hopefully I can continue for the rest of my career in the Premier League and, if I have a good season, then hopefully my stay here can be extended.
“It could be that when the time comes that I feel I can’t perform at the top level anymore it is time to call it a day.
“Whether it’s a year or two more at West Brom, it could then be time to hang the boots up.
“But for me the passion has got stronger.
“I’ve had to manage my body in a different way over the last two years, but I just keep striving to do better than the last season.
“Last season was a frustrating one and I want to prove to myself, the fans and the gaffer that I can still do it.
“At the end of the day, if the gaffer didn’t think I could do it in the Premier League then I would have been on my way, so that gives me great confidence.
“The bottom line is there is no sentiment in football.”
The former Republic of Ireland international is just three games away from making 400 appearances for club and country.
And, although he already has his UEFA B coaching License in his locker, he feels there is a lot more to come from him on the pitch as he looks to put a frustrating injury-interrupted 2012/13 campaign behind him.
“The fact I have played almost 400 games will probably surprise a few people because of the injuries I’ve had in the past," he said.
“It’s a milestone I’ll be proud to reach.
“I’m proud to have been in the Premier League for so long now and it’s where I want to stay for the rest of my career.
“The last few years of my career at West Brom are probably when I’ve learnt the most; firstly under Roy [Hodgson] and then the gaffer has taken it on again.
“On the coaching side I have completed my UEFA B License and there is definitely a head coach and staff here that I can learn from.
“And hopefully in years to come I can progress on that front as well.”