Swansea captain Britton eagerly anticipating belated West Ham bow

The midfielder, a former Hammers youth player, is looking forward to finally playing at Upton Park as Swansea attempt to maintain their impressive away form

Swansea captain Leon Britton is eagerly anticipating facing West Ham at Upton Park for the first time in a senior game, despite being in the Hammers' youth setup 15 years ago.

The Swans are just two wins off the safety-assuring 40 point mark that should ensure Premier League safety, and Britton will be hoping to edge his team ever closer with a win against the team he had hoped to showcase his talents for as a teenager.

The former Hammers youngster is determined to make a point to his old employers after never getting a chance for the London club.

"I played there in maybe three or four youth cup games," said Britton.

"The first one was when I was 15 and playing for Arsenal, but when I moved to West Ham I played there against Southend and Glen Johnson scored a hat-trick, even though he was playing in defence. He wasn’t a bad player even then.

"There were a few reserve games as well, but nothing special. The youth cup games were something special at the time – playing at Upton Park and in front of a bit of a crowd.

"But I never played there in a senior match and have been waiting a long time to play a league game at Upton Park.

"I never made a squad, never travelled for a game when I was there – it was disappointing that I didn’t even get close, especially with the boys around me breaking through. [Jermain[ Defoe, Johnson, [Joe] Cole, [Michael] Carrick. They were top players, but I got left behind a little bit.

"I have waited a long time to get on that pitch and it’s one of the few grounds where I haven’t played a league game."

Britton was allowed to leave West Ham for Swansea on a free transfer by ex Hammers boss Glenn Roeder, but admits he didn't even know where Swansea was when the Welsh club came calling.

"When Swansea rang I didn’t know where it was – all I knew was that it was in Wales," Britton recalled. "And I have got to be honest, I didn’t know much about the football club. I remember coming down the M4 and it just didn’t end. I didn’t know what division Swansea were in until I had a look.

"Then I found they were in the bottom two of the bottom division, but I didn’t care. I couldn’t be picking and choosing where I wanted to go, I just wanted a chance.

"I always hoped I could make it in the professional game, and I just felt I needed someone to give me that chance. When Swansea rang, I came."