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Ready for the next step

Steven Caulker has set his sights on being a first team regular at Spurs after signing a contract extension until 2014 at the Club on Friday.

Steven Caulker has set his sights on being a first team regular at Spurs after signing a contract extension until 2014 at the Club on Friday.

But the young defender is first focused on enjoying a solid first Premier League campaign with newcomers Swansea City, who he joined on a season-long loan on the same day.

Still only 19, Steven progressed through our Academy ranks to make his full debut in a Carling Cup tie with Arsenal last September.

He said: “I’m happy to be part of the Club and hopefully I can become a regular in the side by 2014. I’ve been here since the age of 15, this is my first proper club, so nothing would please me more than to play regularly. Hopefully it will be a good year at Swansea and then I’ll be back here ready to play.”

Brendan Rodgers’ side will become the first ever from Wales to play in the Premier League after their entertaining brand of football saw them win promotion from the Championship via the Play-Offs in May.

Steven saw enough of his new team-mates last season – when he was on loan in the same division at Bristol City - to suggest they can hold their own at the top level – and he is hoping to play a key role in helping them do that.

The England Under-21 international added: “It’s all very exciting for everyone involved there. I played against them last year and you could see they’re a good footballing side, so I’m looking forward to playing there. They play in the style I’m used to at Spurs, and although it’s going to be new, it’s going to be enjoyable.

“I honestly think they’ll do well. I said it last year when we were looking at who was going to go up and I said if Swansea do go up, they’d have a good chance of staying up. Fingers crossed they will and I can be part of it.

“For me the main thing this year is getting games and, with that, the performances as well, so it’s a great challenge. My family and I are more than excited - it’s going to be a massive year but one in which I’m ready to take on the challenge.”

And Steven sees Premier League football as a natural next step to take having progressed from Academy football, to his first taste of senior football in League One with Yeovil two seasons ago, and then to the second tier with Bristol City last year.

Indeed, it’s during his previous two loan spells, in which he has played a total of 76 senior games already despite his young age that he feels he has benefitted most from so far.

He added: “I’ve had a lot of support from my family and the coaches at Spurs, but also the players I’ve played alongside during my other loan spells.

“I’ve played alongside experienced centre-halves who have taught me a lot along my way and each game I’ve learned a little bit more, so now I’m ready for the challenge.

“Two years ago it might have been too much, but now I think the time is right so I’ve just got to go out there and prove it.”