Skysports.com's Peter O'Rourke catches up with West Brom's rising striking star Chris Wood.
Last Updated: 23/07/10 4:18pm
Promising youngster Chris Wood has enjoyed a memorable last 12 months and he is hoping to enjoy more success in the coming season.
After helping West Brom secure promotion back to the Premier League, Wood played a key role in helping New Zealand confound the critics by returning from the World Cup in South Africa as the competition's only unbeaten side.
Wood has achieved a lot in his career already at just 18 and he is eager to continue his development at Premier League new boys West Brom.
The powerful forward made his Premier League debut against Portsmouth as a 17-year-old and he is tipped for a big future in the game for club and country.
Wood is keen to be pushing for a place in Roberto Di Matteo's plans this season and he believes the experience of playing against the likes of Italy and Paraguay at the World Cup can only improve him as a player.
"The World Cup was an amazing experience," Wood told skysports.com.
"It is every kid's dream to play in the World Cup so going to South Africa was an amazing feeling for me.
"We went out there with nothing to lose and against Italy and Paraguay we showed we can play against the best teams so hopefully we can do that for years to come.
"Playing against quality and experienced opposition was a great learning experience for me and it can only enhance my career."
Wood made 23 appearances in all competitions for West Brom last season, scoring two goals and he is determined to make an impact in the new campaign.
"It was a great season for the club last season and hopefully we can continue to push on," added Wood.
"It was amazing to make my debut in the Premier League the last time the club were there and playing in the top flight can only help my career.
"My main aim for the new season is to keep fighting for a place in the side and push for a spot in the starting XI and score some goals."
The 6ft 3in hit-man has been linked with a loan move away from the Hawthorns this summer and although Wood wants to stay and fight for his place, he would be happy to go out on loan if the club feel it would be best for him at this stage of his career.
"It is up to the club what they decide to do," said Wood when asked about a loan switch.
"I am ready to fight for my place in the West Brom side, but if the club feel it is beneficial for me to go out on loan I am more than happy to do that and show my ability."