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Club News


30 August 2016

West Ham United defender looking to continue impressive development at the DW Stadium.

  • Burke: "Gary Caldwell played a big part in the move."
  • 19-year-old believes successful loan spell with Bradford City last season has given him confidence.
  • England youth international expects Sky Bet Championship to be faster, quicker and stronger.
New Wigan Athletic signing Reece Burke believes his season-long loan move from West Ham United to the DW Stadium will prove to be an exciting new chapter in his career.

Burke, 19, impressed last during a loan spell with Bradford City in Sky Bet League One last season and believes Championship football here at Wigan Athletic will play a crucial role in his development into an established Premier League footballer.

"I am delighted to sign here at Wigan Athletic," Burke said. "There were a few Championship clubs interested in me but I wanted to move here because I believe it is the next step for me in my career."

And he also added that the work manager Gary Caldwell did in recruiting him was crucial in attracting him to the DW.

"I've met Gary [Caldwell] before and he's a great guy so I am looking forward to getting started, I really liked what he said about the club and his vision for the team," he continued.

"It was one of my biggest seasons in football yet [at Bradford], I did well, perhaps to the extent I even surprised myself, especially picking up seven awards at the End of Season Dinner.

"The manager plays three at the back here, and that suits me because I feel comfortable playing out from the back.

"I like to get on the ball and play, naturally I love defending, but I like to travel with the ball and the manager saw me do it for Bradford and I think that's what impressed him."

Burke recently signed a new four-year-deal with his parent club, with Hammers boss Slaven Bilic rating him highly.

However, having spoke to the staff at the London Stadium, Burke is aware he must now prove himself at Championship level.

"West Ham wanted to keep me long-term just in case I do push on now and do well here," he added. "I'm a Wigan player now and I am glad that's sorted for this season.

"I expect the Championship to be faster, quicker and stronger, it'll be another step on from League One but what I did last year I hope to repeat here."

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