JACK Collison's rise from non-league footballer to West Ham United reserve team captain to international midfielder has been meteoric.

Four years ago, Collison was making his way through the ranks at Blue Square Premier side Cambridge United when he was plucked from relative obscurity and handed a place at the Irons' coveted Academy.

Having impressed Academy director Tony Carr, then-reserve team boss Kevin Keen, Alan Curbishley and now first-team manager Gianfranco Zola, the youngster has been handed his chance to impress in the Hammers' first team this year.

Those impressive displays led, initially, to a call-up to the Wales Under-21 set-up - a country he qualifies to play for through his grandfather.

On Wednesday evening, the 20-year-old will earn his third senior Wales cap in Denmark after starting in a win in Iceland and coming on as a substitute in a 2-0 defeat to the Netherlands in Rotterdam in the summer.

"I feel as a player, I've matured a lot over the last few months," he told BBC Sport.

"Friendlies are massive opportunities for youngsters like myself to really try and cement our place in the team."

"We are going out there to try and do our best.

"Denmark are going to be a tough opposition but it's a great opportunity for us to put ourselves up against a decent team."

Wednesday's match in Copenhagen will cap a memorable few weeks for Collison, who scored on his full home debut for West Ham in the 3-1 defeat to Everton earlier this month.

"It's been a very good few weeks for me," said Collison.

"He's (Zola) been brilliant for everyone at West Ham.

"He's come in, he's said he wants his players to play with freedom and he's given me a lot of confidence to really kick on this season.

"It was nice to score my first Premier League goal, but at the end of the day, it didn't mean much."

Collison will hope to put the pain of that defeat behind him when Wales take to the field at Brondby tomorrow.

Alongside him will be Irons' team-mates Craig Bellamy and James Collins, as well as Arsenal's highly-rated teenager Aaron Ramsey.

However, West Bromwich Albion playmaker Jason Koumas and Fulham winger Simon Davies are both out of the game with injuries.

Denmark's squad includes four English-based players in Stoke City goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen, Liverpool defender Daniel Agger, Fulham midfielder Leon Andreasen and Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner.