Date: 27th May 2007 at 7:09am
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Hogan Ephraim, the 19-year-old attacker who spent much of last season on loan in the Championship with Colchester United, could return to the club following the successful renewal of his contract with West Ham.

The deal was finally agreed last week; a one-year contract that could open the door for his immediate reappearance at Layer Road, where he spent five months of last season.

Despite having a bring future, it seems unlikely that Hogan, currently a permanent fixture in youth England teams, will make a breakthrough with the Hammers this season.

Speaking in the media on Friday, Ephraim seemed glad to have sorted his short-term future and was not ruling out a return to Essex for next season.

“We came to the conclusion that it would be best all round if I signed for another year,’ Ephraim told the Colchester Gazette.

‘I know that I have to hit the ground running as soon as we get back after the summer break. There are some top-class players at West Ham but I’m confident that I can be in and around the first-team squad.

‘The manager (Alan Curbishley) hasn’t seen me play but he told me he has taken advice from the people around him and his backroom staff. He said they like what they have seen and that he’ll have a good look at me in pre-season.’