New Zealand Hot Prospect to Join?

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Reece Burke extends loan at Bradford City

Hammers Under 21 central defender Reece Burke has extended his loan period with Bradford City until 2nd January 2016.  Reece has really impressed during the last few months with Bradford, playing every minute of every game he was available until suffering an injury.    His form for Bradford resulted in a call up to the England Under 20 squad last month.

Academy youngster Martin Samuelsen has joined Peterborough United on loan until 2 January 2016

The 18-year-old Norway U19 international has impressed with the Hammers’ U21 side since joining from Manchester City in the summer and will now head to the ABAX Stadium to further his development.

Martin was an unused substitute on Tuesday evening as the Posh beat Barnsley 3-2 to move into 7th, just below the play-off positions.  Samuelsen already has two senior appearances to his name, having come on as a substitute in both legs of the Hammers’ UEFA Europa League second qualifying round tie against Birkirkara in the summer.  He will be eligible to play in seven League One games during his initial loan period.

Monaco and Marseille enter January race with West Ham to sign Everton star Kevin Mirallas

The Everton winger, who signed a new contract at Goodison Park in the summer, has struggled to force his way into manager Roberto Martinez’s plans.   And is believed to be keen on leaving the Toffees in a bid to secure his seat on Belgium’s plane to the forthcoming 2016 European Championships in France. 

This discomfort has put Monaco and Marseille on alert, with both sides interested in securing his services in January, claim Get French Football News.   “It’s not easy to live such a situation but it happens like that in the world of football,” Mirallas said about his current situation.   “I don’t think in terms of my place in the national team.  “But in January, if my situation has not changed, I will ask questions and perhaps consider a departure.  The 28-year-old was omitted from Belgium coach Marc Wilmots’ Euro 2016 qualifying team to play Andorra and Israel last month, and has made just one  Premier League start for Everton so far this season. West Ham have also been linked with the Belgian international who has been pushed out of Martinez’s Everton side by Gerard Deulofeu. 

West Ham and Crystal Palace watching Jupiter Pro League’s top goalscorer Cyriac 

The Daily Star has stated that both clubs have watched the 25-year-old striker, who is currently top scorer in Belgium with ten goals in 15 games for Oostende.  And Cyriac admits he has his heart set on following in the footsteps of father figure Didier Drogba by making a move to the Premier League.

Asked about the interest from West Ham and Palace, he said: “I’m happy about that. I like those clubs. They would be a challenge for me.  “I was told they were in the stadium and that there is possible interest, but I am just concentrating on playing for my club.  “I would be happy to play in the best league in the world one day but right now I want to help Oostende qualify for Europe.  “I like the Premier League a lot. When I was a kid I liked Wayne Rooney, and I met Didier Drogba playing for the Ivory Coast. He has given me lots of advice.  “He is like a father figure. He has helped me a lot. I like the Premier League. It is very physical and referees play with a good spirit and don’t stop the attacks all the time.”

Cyriac, who joined Oostende from Anderlecht last summer, is under contract until 2019 but is understood to be keen on a move.  Palace are in the market because because they have struggled to get goals from their strikers this season, while West Ham are looking for depth as Diafra Sakho has struggled with injuries.


Former Hammers goalkeeper David James is impressed with Hammers goalkeepers

Former West Ham United goalkeeper and current BT Sport pundit David James has high praise for Hammers stopper Adrian.The No13 may have been beaten four times at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, but still made a string of fine saves to continue his strong start to the campaign.

James, who won 53 caps for England in a 24-year playing career, should know a thing or two about goalkeeping and he has been impressed with both Adrian and Darren Randolph.

He said: “Adrian has impressed since he’s come across from Spain – for two or three seasons now.

“Even when he missed a few games earlier this season, Darren Randolph came in and did very well, so I think there’s a combination where the defence are helping the goalkeeper and vice-versa.

“It’s all contributing to West Ham being a very strong side. Fortunately, and happily a side that look like they are going to finish well up in the top half of the league and not be involved at the other end.

“It will be a sad time for West Ham to leave the Boleyn Ground, but if Man City are a good example of leaving their spiritual home then perhaps West Ham can follow in their footsteps and who knows, there could be European success ahead.”James made 91 league appearances for the Hammers in a two-and-a-half-year stint in E13 and he still has plenty of fond memories of east London.

He continied: “I’ve got plenty of memories of this place, it’s funny being in the home changing room again actually. It’s slightly different, but there’s definitely an essence of the changing room when I first came in when the new stand was built.  “There were so many memories playing here. I got injured playing for England before my debut for the Club, missed a few games, eventually made my debut against Tottenham and lost 1-0. That was memorable.  We got relegated, which was sad. I stayed here in the Championship, and I think strangely playing essentially as England’s No1 with West Ham in the Championship made me very proud.  “It meant I could stay with the Club – I was part of the reason why we didn’t stay in the league, despite our record-breaking relegation points total, but I felt I had to represent the fact I wanted to be at the Club. I was proud to be a West Ham player.  “Alan Pardew came in and eventually we decided to part company, but I was very proud of the time I was here, and coming back here the reception from the fans is always very good.”

Development squad midfielder Moses Makasi on team’s confidence levels

Twenty year old midfielder Moses Makasi put in a dominant performance against Derby County during his first full ninety minutes of the season.  Playing alongside Josh Cullen and Marcus Browne, during the 3-2 victory over the league leaders, the trio formed a solid partnership that broke down Rams’ attacking moves while creating a host of chances for the Hammers.  Reflecting on a good evening for the Dev Squad, which saw Elliot Lee net a brace and Cullen score his second in as many games, Makasi, who also made his first start said: “It’s been a long time since I played a full 90 minutes so it felt good to be part of the team again, and of course good to win. The main thing was a good team performance all round.  “To beat the team that are top of the league shows we are developing. We’re winning games regularly which is also good.  “It was a tough game tonight, there were some big challenges. At half time Terry told us to keep our cool and make sure we don’t make any rash decisions. We’re winning the game so there’s no need to rise to it.”  The victory over the Rams takes the Hammers to ninth in the Barclays U21 Premier League Division Two.  The Dev Squad’s recent run of form has seen Terry Westley’s side accumulate nine points from a possible twelve.    Makasi continued: “Compared to other games, in terms of keeping the ball it wasn’t the best. The main thing was to get three points and climb up the table, we did that and we’re looking forward to getting back into training and preparing for the next game.

“Personally, I thought for my first full 90 minutes, it was a steady performance, I could’ve done a bit better on the ball but overall I’m happy, it’s always good to win!”  Up next for the Hammers is a stern test of a different nature as they face two tough away games in the space of just three days.

First up, the Hammers travel to South Wales to play Swansea City in the League before facing Exeter City in the Barclays U21 Premier League Cup just two days later.  The energetic midfielder continued to say that it was a challenge the Dev Squad are relishing: “Two games in three days will be tough, but that’s what we will have to get used to as first team players so it’s good preparation.  “These recent wins have been very good for confidence, as long as we keep winning, that always gives you confidence for the next game. Hopefully we’ll keep pushing and got those points we need.” 

Auckland teen gets big shot with the Hammers

An Auckland teenager is knocking on the door of a premier football career after being selected to play for the West Ham United Under-18 squad in London.  Lewis Tiller, 17, moved to Auckland a year and a half ago from Dannevirke to further his football career, said his father, Deane Sutherland. He was was one of about 300 youngsters asked to attend a training session a few months ago where West Ham officials were scouting for talent.  He was the only player from the session selected to be part of a training and development squad at West Ham’s London base. But the more he played the more interested they became and he was instead chosen to be part of the famous club’s Under-18 squad.

“You get a lot of under-18s who get picked up by the big clubs … If you do well in that tournament you get picked up by a big club or even a Spanish club,” Mr Sutherland said.  “If he does really well there may be a possibility that he doesn’t come back.  Worst case, if he plays the tournament it’s just a great opportunity to learn and then bring that knowledge back to New Zealand.”The Year 12 Waiuku College student had made a rapid rise up the football ranks since his move to Auckland.

“In January, he trialled out for some under-16s in Papakura and someone said, ‘oh we’ll take you for the under-17s, you’re a bit better’. Then after four weeks he was snapped up by Fencibles [Howick/Pakuranga] under-19s. He lasted not even five or six weeks and was picked up by the reserves, which is a men’s team, would you believe.”  He also got to play in the Chatham Cup Challenge, he said.

“From there things sort of skyrocketed and it was then he was asked to go along to this West Ham United drill.  “He went along and word spread and was part of the training and development squad and then promoted to the Under-18s.”  Jim Evans, head coach and director of football at Lewis’ club, Waiuku AFC, said the fact he was the only player to be selected out of Australasia was huge.  “Definitely, huge, it’s a massive deal.”  Lewis was a young, promising player who had benefited both physically and mentally from training and playing with his older teammates, he said.  So was he surprised by Lewis’ selection?  “I would say yes because to actually be the one picked out of so many players is a feat in itself, it’s a huge feat. So you have to be surprised and he’s probably surprised too but am I surprised with his ambition and commitment to the sport? No.”

From the Treatment Room

Pedro Obiang will be available for selection on Sunday.  He returned to training with the group last week following his recovery from a quadriceps injury. 

Dimitri Payet and Enner Valencia are both in a period of immobilisation and wearing a boot. We will look to start their rehabilitation next week and take their treatment to the next stage.

Darren Randolph is still recovering from the knee injury he suffered while on international duty with Republic of Ireland.

Finally, Reece Oxford had a nasty fall in Monday’s Development Squad win over Derby County and was taken off as a precautionary measure at half-time. Reece will return to training this week with a view to being available for selection this weekend.


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