Youngster thanks Clarke - plus free video
SAIDO Berahino has thanked Steve Clarke for giving youth a chance and providing him with the platform to earn his new contract.
The Academy graduate has scored six goals in ten games for the Baggies after Clarke gave the 20-year-old his first-team debut in August.
Berahino put pen to paper on a new-and-improved three-and-a-half-year contract at the club’s training ground this morning.
And the England Under-21s star is delighted his future remains at The Hawthorns.
“I’m delighted that everything is sorted,” said Berahino.
“Now we can move forward.
“I’ve committed my future to West Bromwich Albion and I can’t wait to keep going.
“I’ve been at the club since I was 11 and I’m so happy to be here.
“I’d just like to thank everyone at the club for getting behind me.
“I also want to thank the gaffer for allowing me to express myself.
“He’s given me the platform to play in the Premier League.
“He’s been good to me. He’s made it easy for me to come in and fit in with the lads.
“I can’t thank him enough for giving me an opportunity.
“I also want to thank Keith Downing, Kevin Keen and Dean Kiely and all of the other staff.
“It’s been great and long may it continue."
Berahino added: “Contracts can take time to sort out.
“I was committing my future to the club so I wanted to make sure everything was right.
“But everyone has done a fantastic job and I’ve got a contract that I’m really happy with.
“Now I’m looking forward to the future.”
The Burundi-born striker believes the season-ending knee injury he suffered while on loan at Peterborough last term was the catalyst for his rise to prominence.
The club's medical staff oversaw Berahino's rehab and he has earned praise from all quarters for the manner in which he knuckled down to ensure he was fully fit for the start of pre-season.
Berahino hasn't looked back since.
“I wouldn’t have pictured this happening in the summer,” added Berahino.
“Everything happens for a reason.
“I don’t blame anyone for my injury. I just took it on the chin.
“But it was a great thing for me because it changed me as a person.
"I’m here now because of that experience.
“I also appreciate what happened while I was injured. The club's staff were great to me.
“I want to thank God, my family and everyone at the club for getting behind me.”
Berahino has become an instant fans' favourite and he admits he loves hearing his name being sung.
He added: “The fans have been brilliant to me.
“Hearing them singing your name is the best feeling in the world.
“I appreciate all the support they have given me so far.
“Long may that continue.”