Sunday, 12 July 2009

Grays Athletic 1 West Ham United 2

Gianfranco Zola declared himself pleased with the side's 2-1 friendly win over Grays Athletic this afternoon. In the absence of established first-teamers Robert Green, Matthew Upson, James Tomkins, Mark Noble, Valon Behrami, Luis Boa Morte, Scott Parker, Carlton Cole and Dean Ashton, academy products Zavon Hines and Cristian Montano scored the goals in a game that also saw the return to action of Danny Gabbidon. The injury-plagued defender played his first half of football since a reserve outing back in January 2008. There were also encouraging run-outs for Kieron Dyer, the returning Julien Faubert, Anthony Edgar and Junior Stanislas.

Zola used 22 players in all during the game and he saw plenty to be pleased about ahead of the new season, while the game will serve as ideal preparation for the squad's trip to Austria tomorrow. "I was very happy today," he said. "Everyone came through which is good because we have only had one week of hard training and this is still very early in pre-season. I am pleased with how the young players did and they had lots of confidence. It is very encouraging."

While it was a welcome pipe-opener for established names such as Herita Ilunga and Jack Collison, there was also a tantalising glimpse of two players who are set to play a part in Tony Carr's Under-18 set-up this coming season - namely Republic of Ireland Under-17 midfielder Eoin Wearen and England Under-17 forward Robert Hall, who are still only 16 and 15 respectively. As stated on the official site, both may feature again at Cambridge United in a West Ham United XI next Saturday.

Meanwhile Savio travelled with the squad to Grays but was rested as a precaution. He is expected to figure when the team play in Austria, perhaps in the opening match of the ten-day trip against local third-division team SVL Flavia Solva on Wednesday. New recruit Luis Jimenez will also be in Austria after his arrival in London earlier today. Although he was not in time to watch his new team-mates play after sorting out some personal matters back in Chile, Zola was clear about how the man dubbed 'the Wizard' will improve his options. "He will give us something extra especially in the last 30 metres. That is the kind of player we have got."

Valon Behrami and Scott Parker are also expected to make the trip to the training camp in Bad Radkersburg, although only the latter has a chance of playing in any of the four games. After Flavia Solva, the Hammers take on German Cup holders Werder Bremen on Saturday in Bad Waltersdorf (check out possible live internet streams for that one) before meeting Turkish team Bursaspor on Wednesday week and then finishing up against ND Mura 05 across the border in Slovenia a day later.

Finally, England Under-21 duo James Tomkins and Mark Noble will fly out with Jonathan Spector midway through the camp, having had just a fortnight or so off so far after their summer international exertions. According to the official site, it remains to be seen if Dean Ashton and Terry Dixon will be joining them as they continue to work hard on their fitness after lengthy injury lay-offs.

1 comment:

plastikiniai langai said...

very nice posts and blog


Copyright 2007 ID Media Inc, All Right Reserved. Crafted by Nurudin Jauhari