Kyle: I know what it takes

KYLE Bartley is planning to put his experience of the gruelling Championship campaign to good use after agreeing a three-year deal with the Baggies.

The 6ft 3in central defender, who started his career with Arsenal and has been recruited for an undisclosed fee from Swansea City, knows exactly what Albion can expect this season after impressing in Championship loan spells.

His most recent, a stand-out campaign with Leeds United in the 2016-17 campaign, earned Kyle a four-year deal with Swansea but injuries blighted his progress last season and gave Head Coach Darren Moore the chance to swoop this summer.

"I’ve got good experience of the Championship; I know what it takes and how long the season is,” said Bartley, who also scored five goals in 19 appearances on loan at Birmingham City in 2013/14 season.

“It’s hard and it’s important to have players who are aware of the ups and downs and are able to maintain a consistent level.

“I like to think I’m a leader, a committed player who will always give 100 per cent. I play with my heart on my sleeve.

"I’m a no-nonsense centre back but I like to play. I’ve come from an Academy background (at Arsenal) and with Swansea’s style, but I definitely defend first!”

Those are qualities Albion’s Head Coach appreciates only too well and it was after their first dialogue about the move that Kyle knew he wanted to come to The Hawthorns.

He said: ”I found out over a week ago and I’ve been eager to get here and get it finalised.

"It’s a massive club and the new manager coming in at the end of last year brought something new and fresh, and after speaking with Darren I knew this was the place I wanted to be be.

“He let me know his ideas for the season and the next few years, his ambitions for the club and he told me about the fan base and the facilities.”

He’s got the chance to train with his new team mates this week before the next pre-season friendly at Aberdeen on Friday night in which he will hope to taste his first action in the blue and white stripes.

But settling in won’t be a problem.

“It’s always nerve-wracking meeting your new team mates but I used to play with Kieran Gibbs at Arsenal and know him well, while I’ve also come across a few of the other lads over the years as well,” added Kyle.

“We came back a week later at Swansea than the boys here so I may be a little bit behind but I did a lot of work in the off-season so I am hoping to be involved quickly.

“I will have to speak with the manager in terms of how he sees the team but I will give my all for the club and the fans. I think were all know where this club wants to be and we have to push as hard as we can to achieve that."

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