Club News

Olsson delighted to sign new deal

Defender determined to repay club as he sings Clarke's and fans' praises

JONAS Olsson is determined to repay the faith Albion have shown in him after revealing his delight at penning a new four-year Hawthorns deal.

The 29-year-old centre-half last night gave the Baggies a huge boost by committing himself to the club until 2016.

And he is confident his best years are to come as he explained the part Steve Clarke, his team-mates and the fans all played in him making his decision to stay at The Hawthorns beyond next summer after months of negotiations.

“I’m very delighted,” said Olsson, who also became a father with the birth of his daughter Iris Annabelle in June.

“It’s been a long process but it’s done now and I’m very happy.

“I had a few things that were important to me and there were some issues that were important to the club.

“Finally we came to an agreement – and I’m very happy.

“It’s been a great year and hopefully the next couple of years can be even greater.

“I very much like where the club is going and the way we have progressed over the last few years.

“That made the decision, in the end, easy.

“I think every season I am progressing as well.

“At the moment I’m playing my very best football.

“Normally as a centre-half you have your best years in your early 30s.

“I’m determined to develop and hope to repay the trust the club has shown in me.”

The Sweden international praised Clarke and admitted the fans constantly urging him in the streets and on Twitter to re-sign was something he just could not ignore.

“The boss was a key factor for me,” Olsson insisted.

“I really enjoyed playing under Hodgson.

“The new gaffer has picked up where he left off and, in addition to that, has brought in some very interesting ideas.

“I really enjoy his way of thinking about football.

“He’s a very nice person and he’s been brilliant over these last couple of months, which has made my decision easier.

“He has been respectful to me about making my own decision.”

He added: “I’ve played at only three clubs in my career and I think these fans are very loyal in the support they give.

“All the feedback I get from meeting people on the streets and on Twitter asking me to sign has also made an impact.

“We feel like they are behind us and that is very important.

“I’m very humbled because of that.”

The inspirational defender believes his performances in the opening six games of the Barclays Premier League campaign show he has not been distracted by the contract negotiations.

And he now has his sights set firmly on establishing Albion as a top-flight outfit.

“I’ve always been professional in that way and tried to focus on the moment,” he said.

“That’s the way I’ve always been.

“I try not to look too far in the future.

“It’s about focusing on where you’re at.

“That hasn’t been a problem and the gaffer has been very good speaking with me – and he hasn’t seen it as an issue either.

“I feel humbled by that - and my ambition is to keep progressing.

“We’re taking steps every season and hopefully this year we can take another big step and establish ourselves as a Premier League football team.

“We can push on from there and, if we keep performing as we have so far this season, who knows where we can end up.”