All the hard work and briefly becoming less of a devoted dad than he wanted to be has paid off for Tomer Hemed.

The Israeli international striker has signed a new contract with Albion through to the end of next season.

Hemed's previous deal was due to expire in June. Now the uncertainty has been removed and he has been rewarded for a summer of toil back home in Israel.

With at least one new signing expected up front, Hemed knew he needed to be fitter than ever to enhance his chances of playing in the Premier League for the promoted Seagulls.

He employed a personal trainer to ensure he was in tip-top shape. It helped him to hit the ground running and prove he was worth a place in the squad.

Hemed, 30, revealed to The Argus: "Usually I work in the summer to keep in good shape. We get some plans from the club but I decided to have a personal trainer to work extra, every day two or three seassions, just to be ready for the start of the season.

"It was a chance I didn't know if I would get again, so I'm happy.

"In the summer we had the birth of my daughter and I said to my wife sometimes I feel I'm doing something wrong. I'm not spending enough time with them, because we have a new baby.

"But now we are laughing because we've said it was worth it, all the hard work gave me a chance to at least show myself and now everyone has seen I can play at this level and I'm good enough for the Premier League."

Hemed began the season against Manchester City at the Amex as Albion's attacking spearhead after No.9 rival Glenn Murray was sent-off in a friendly in Spain against Girona and suspended from the final warm-up game against Atletico Madrid.

Murray then suffered ankle damage at Leicester and, once Albion failed to add to their strike force at the end of the transfer window, Hemed, the subject of widespread interest from the Championship, grabbed his chance.

The former Almeria marksman scored against West Brom and again in the next home game to beat Newcastle (below), only for a controversial late red card to interrupt his momentum.

The Argus: It still irks Hemed that he was deemed to have deliberately trod on Newcastle defender DeAndre Yedlin. The incident was picked up by the Sky TV cameras and he was retrospectively suspended for three matches.

Hemed said: "The first thing I said is it's my reputation. The gaffer, the staff, the players said straight away I am the last one to do something like that.

"And even now people believe I did it on purpose.

"I am still thinking about it. On one side I put it away and look forward but sometimes, when I think about it, it came from nowhere.

"Especially in that game. I scored the winner, I played so well, was man-of-the-match on TV, and I didn't know how someone could think I would do something like that in that form.

"Sometimes I think about that moment and what could have happened if I wasn't away for that period, but things happen in football. You need to have a strong mentality.

"I worked hard every day, because I need to be ready for the next chance. I need to leave it behind me and focus on the positive things and the future."