Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Sigma Olomouc 1 West Ham United 0

West Ham United stepped up their pre-season preparations with a rigorous work-out against Sigma Olomouc in Austria last night. The Hammers suffered a 1-0 defeat against the Czech outfit, with a 36th minute close range strike by Ladislav Onofrej enough to earn a win for Sigma in Bad Radkersburg. To add to Alan Curbishley's woes, new French recruit Julien Faubert was also carried off after 35 minutes with a brace around his ankle. The 23-year-old winger will undergo a scan tomorrow to determine the extent of the damage but initial prognosis suggests it is an achilles injury. Most media outlets are reporting that the player will now be struggling to make the start of the season and the worst case scenario could see the Frenchman sidelined for three to four months.

On a more positive note,
Dean Ashton continued on the comeback trail with a decent 60-minute run-out, while Craig Bellamy made his Hammers debut and came close to grabbing a late equaliser with a 20-yard strike that crashed back off the crossbar. Matthew Upson also came through another 45 minutes work unscathed and both Bobby Zamora and Christian Dailly got their first taste of action this summer.

Hammers: Wright (Walker 45), Spector (Ferdinand 60), Collins (Davenport 45), Upson (Gabbidon 45), McCartney (Dailly 45); Faubert (Collison 35), Parker (Noble 45), Bowyer (Mullins 45), Reid (Boa Morte 45); Ashton (Bellamy 60), Cole (Zamora 60).

The Hammers will now continue pre-season training work at their purpose-built Austrian camp near Graz, where new Head of Sports Science Nick Davies is running intensive double training sessions to build fitness levels. "The main thing is that we've got them 24 hours a day!" explains Assistant Manger Mervyn Day. "If we want to give them a nice early wake-up call for a morning run, then they'll have to be up and ready! Seriously, it will be hard work for the boys, but we are looking forward to it. It's a change of environment, a chance to get away from the training ground, and we've got a couple of decent matches lined up. It will also give the new players a chance to bed in, get to know the other lads a bit better, while we also have a few new guys on the coaching and backroom staff, so it will benefit them too." West Ham travel to Lebring on Saturday where they will face Serie A outfit S.S. Lazio.

1 comment:

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