Lambert excited by top flight

Saints striker ready to prove life begins at 30 in Premier League

Rickie Lambert: Southampton striker celebrates promotion with the fans

Southampton striker Rickie Lambert is bursting with anticipation at the thought of playing in the Premier League for the first time.

The 30-year-old has spent his career in the lower leagues where he has sculptured a reputation as a supreme marksman.

He enhanced his standing amongst his peers with 31 goals last season, as the Saints finished second to claim a second successive promotion.

Nigel Adkins' side will make a return to the top-flight after a seven-year absence, but for the former Rochdale striker it will be his first experience of football's top table.

Dream

"It means everything - it's a dream come true. It's been a long career I've had, and I've played a lot of games for my age," said Lambert.

"To get here at the age of 30 is something I'm over the moon about. I just can't wait for it.

"The Premier League has some of the best players in the world so I can't wait to test my wits against them.

"For the team to perform the way I know we can perform on the biggest stage against the biggest clubs, every one of us can't wait for that day."