James Collins looking forward to Cardiff reunion in Premier League opener

The West Ham defender started his career with the Bluebirds and was quick to find out when he would be meeting his former side, who start their campaign at Upton Park
West Ham defender James Collins is looking forward to an extra-special moment when he faces former side Cardiff City on the Premier League's opening weekend.

The 29-year-old started his career at the Welsh club, signing as a trainee when he was 16 and making 86 senior appearances over five years before leaving for his first spell with the Hammers.

With the newly promoted side in store for Sam Allardyce's men to start 2013-14, the Wales international is expecting an enjoyable occasion.

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"It will be good. I looked at it straight away and, with my family still living down there, they were excited as well," Collins told West Ham's official website.

"It will be strange playing against them in the Premier League but they have done great to come up so it's one I am looking forward to.

"The same as last year, we had my other former club, Aston Villa, and we got the three points against them, so fingers crossed we can do the same.

"I played against Cardiff once when I was at Villa in the League Cup [in September 2009] but it will be great to play against them in the league.

"There are not too many faces there from my time any more but they did give me my start in football so I do keep an eye on them.

"Like last year, though, I'll be playing as hard as ever to get the three points."