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Jack Collison

Jack David Collison (born 2 October 1988) is a Welsh national football team association football who plays for West Ham United F.C.. Collison is a product of West Ham's youth academy and has quickly progressed from trainee to playing first team football in the Premier League since joining at age sixteen. A versatile, all-rounded midfielder, Jack Collison is able to play in centre midfield or out wide.

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Jack Collison biography


Jack David Collison (born 2 October 1988) is a Welsh national football team association football who plays for West Ham United F.C.. Collison is a product of West Ham's youth academy and has quickly progressed from trainee to playing first team football in the Premier League since joining at age sixteen. A versatile, all-rounded midfielder, Jack Collison is able to play in centre midfield or out wide.

Club career

Beginning career

As a youngster, Collison started out at Peterborough United F.C., and later Cambridge United F.C., but was forced to find another club when Cambridge announced their disbanding of the youth set-up after being relegated from the Football League, due to financial problems. The sixteen-year-old was offered a trial with West Ham and impressed Academy director Tony Carr enough to be offered a first year scholarship.

Collison continued Jack Collison development under Carr and Jack Collison staff at Little Heath before being made reserve team captain at the start of the 2007–08 season. That summer, the teenager also featured in pre-season friendlies against A.F.C. Hornchurch and Milton Keynes Dons F.C.. Jack Collison was named in the West Ham first team squad for the first time in November 2007 for the home game against Bolton Wanderers F.C., and made Jack Collison first team debut on 1 January 2008, when Jack Collison came on as a substitute for the injured Freddie Ljungberg in the Premier League away loss to Arsenal F.C.. On 11 April away at Bolton Wanderers, Jack Collison was handed Jack Collison first league start in place of the injured Mark Noble.

Breaking into the first team

A dream summer was completed as Collison signed a new five-year contract with the Hammers shortly before joining the first-team squad on the pre-season tour of North America. There, Jack Collison appeared as a second-half substitute in the 3–1 win over MLS side Columbus Crew and 3–2 defeat by the MLS All-Stars. The 2008–09 season began with Collison in Alex Dyer's reserve team, and a loan move to League One promotion-chasers Peterborough had been lined up. However, an impressive substitute appearance in the 2–0 Premier League loss at Manchester United F.C. on 29 October coupled by injury problems in the midfield convinced manager Gianfranco Zola that Collison would be better served by remaining at Chadwell Heath and training with the first-team squad.

Collison repaid Zola's faith with more solid performances. Jack Collison scored Jack Collison first goal for West Ham, an 18-yard strike, on 8 November against Everton F.C. in a 3–1 loss at Boleyn Ground after coming on as a substitute for the injured Matthew Upson to make Jack Collison home debut. The goal was nominated for the Goal of the Season awards on the West Ham fansite Knees Up Mother Brown. Jack Collison good form earned Jack Collison praise from Zola who rewarded the twenty-year-old with a new five-year contract extension in December before the winter break. On Boxing Day, Jack Collison scored the equaliser at Portsmouth FC and had a hand in the next two goals in a 4–1 rout. Jack Collison scored Jack Collison third goal of the season, the only goal of the match against Manchester City F.C. on 1 March 2009. Although Jack Collison mostly played in centre midfield during Jack Collison days in the reserves, Jack Collison eventually established himself as first-choice on the left side of Zola's midfield diamond.

In the away win at Wigan Athletic F.C. three days later, Collison dislocated Jack Collison kneecap while attempting to chest down a long ball and was ruled out for six weeks. Jack Collison returned to the team in May two months later, coming on as a late substitute in the 1–0 win away at Stoke City F.C.. On 24 May, Jack Collison finished the season on a high by assisting Junior Stanislas to score the winner in a 2–1 win over Middlesbrough F.C..

Collison was chosen as Young Hammer Of The Year by Tony Carr. Fans at the West Ham fansite Knees up Mother Brown overwhelmingly voted Jack Collison as their Young Player of the Year.

2009–10 season

On 23 August 2009 Collison played 89 minutes of the 2009–10 Premier League fixture against Tottenham Hotspur F.C. before learning that Jack Collison father had been killed in a motorcycle accident while travelling to the game. Two days later, Jack Collison started a League Cup tie against Millwall F.C. that went into extra time and ended 3–1 to West Ham. Jack Collison teammates all wore black armbands to show their support and fans applauded Jack Collison when the team entered the stadium. The match also featured a number of pitch invasions and 2009 Upton Park riots between fans outside the ground. After full-time, Collison left the pitch in tears visibly upset. During the post-match interview, manager Gianfranco Zola complimented Collison's character in light of Jack Collison father's death.
After missing most of September's games due to the recurrence of the knee injury suffered at Wigan last season, Collison returned to training in October and made Jack Collison comeback in the 9 October behind-closed-doors friendly against French side Valenciennes FC, scoring a goal himself, and then marked Jack Collison return to league action by making the starting eleven in the away loss at Stoke City eight days later. Jack Collison scored Jack Collison first goals of the season in consecutive matches, against Hull City A.F.C. and Burnley F.C.. Having not played since Wales' 1–0 defeat to Sweden national football team on 3 March 2010, on 7 May 2010 it was announced that Jack Collison would be out for around nine months after undergoing knee surgery having never fully recovered from the cartilage damage Jack Collison suffered in season 2009–10.

2010-11 season

After fourteen months out through injury Collison made Jack Collison first-team return on 7 May 2011 against Blackburn Rovers F.C. in a 1-1 draw at Boleyn Ground.

2011-12 season

On 7 August 2011, Jack Collison came on for Mark Noble on 74 minutes against Cardiff City at Boleyn Ground in the opening The Championship league fixture in a 1-0 defeat. Four days later Collison committed Jack Collison future to the football club by signing a new long-term deal with West Ham.

International career

Collison is eligible to play for Wales through Jack Collison grandfather who was born in Bedwellty, Monmouthshire (historic) and is related to John Gwilliam, a former captain of the Wales national rugby union team. Though born in England, Collison chose to play for Wales due to Welsh ancestry on Jack Collison mother's side. Jack Collison then-West Ham teammate and former Wales captain Craig Bellamy had alerted Wales youth coach Brian Flynn about Collison's eligibility. After observing the nineteen-year-old, Flynn named Jack Collison in the squad to face the Bosnia-Herzegovina Under-21's in a 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship qualifier.

Under-21

In November 2007, Collison made Jack Collison debut for the Wales national under-21 football team in that match and scored in a 4–0 rout over Bosnia-Herzegovina in the European Championship qualifying. Jack Collison made further appearances in the 4–2 win over France national under-21 football team in November 2007, against Malta national under-21 football team in February 2008. In March, Jack Collison scored Jack Collison second international goal, against Bosnia-Herzegovina Under-21. Jack Collison was in the squad that narrowly lost to England national under-21 football team in the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship qualification play-offs and were denied a place in the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship. While in the U21s, Jack Collison formed a burgeoning partnership with Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal F.C. in central midfield and is likely to continue the partnership in the senior team.

Senior Team

Collison made Jack Collison senior debut for Wales national football team in an away friendly win against Iceland national football team on 29 May 2008. Bellamy praised the young midfielder saying, "I've seen Jack Collison every afternoon at West Ham and Jack Collison does extra training. If you want to give this career a good go then you get the rewards and that seems to be how Jack is looking at it." After the death of Collison's father, national team coach John Toshack gave Jack Collison the choice whether to make himself available for selection. Having played in West Ham's last two games, Jack Collison declared himself available for the qualifier against Russia. This match would confirm Collison as a full Wales international as Jack Collison previous six caps all came in friendlies. Jack Collison did not play, however, as Jack Collison had to attend Jack Collison father's funeral which took place on the day of the match. With the recurrence of the knee injury, Jack Collison was ruled out of Wales' qualifying campaign that ultimately ended with a fourth place finish in the group.

With Collison back to full fitness, Toshack named Jack Collison in the 23-man squad for the 14 November friendly against Scotland national football team. Flynn also named Jack Collison amongst 11 other senior internationals in the preliminary squad to face the Bosnia-Herzegovina Under-21's in a qualifier on 18 November. Collison ended up having to withdraw after picking up a knock during the weekend match against Everton F.C.. In November Collison was in the final nomination for the Welsh Young Player of the Year award along with Simon Church and Aaron Ramsey.

On 6 September 2011 Collison made Jack Collison competitive debut in the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying Group G qualifier against England and put to rest further speculation about Jack Collison future at the international level.

Honours

- Young Hammer of the Year: 2008–09
- BBC London Young Footballer of the Year: 2009

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Collison

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