Pre-season is often a constructing course of – constructing health, constructing sharpness, constructing tactically – forward of a recent marketing campaign.
Yet these three facets fall hand-in-hand with an equally very important element to any profitable pre-season marketing campaign: constructing confidence.
West Ham United U23s definitely performed with loads of that in their opening pre-season pleasant: a 4-1 win over Loughborough University on the University Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
And that conviction was maybe largely a product of not solely the week-long coaching camp in Loughborough the Academy gamers had undergone previous to kick-off, but in addition the thrilling technical potential on present.
At the guts of that offensively have been two new Hammers, Armstrong Oko-Flex and Thierry Nevers, who lately made the change to east London from Celtic and Reading respectively.
Playing with all these guys was enjoyable, it was a superb sport and I really feel like everybody expressed themselves and did nicely
Linking up with returning England youth worldwide Amadou Diallo in assault, the three quick, skilful gamers proved a continuing menace with interchanging, fast link-up play – a glimpse into, maybe, an thrilling marketing campaign to return.
Diallo opened the scoring with a high-quality solo aim two minutes into the match, earlier than Oko-Flex scored from the penalty spot quarter-hour later, having been fouled coming into the realm after exchanging passes with Diallo.
Oko-Flex would later the again of the web once more – dominated out for offside – however the Republic of Ireland U19s ahead admitted to having fun with his first look in Claret and Blue.
“It was actually enjoyable,” the 19-year-old informed whufc.com. “It was good to get on the market and play my first sport of pre-season for West Ham.
“It was good for me to get some minutes on the pitch. It’s been a very long time personally since I’ve had some minutes, so it was good to get 70 enjoying with a brand new group.
“It was simple to return into the group. I’ve recognized Amadou since we have been younger, so our link-up was good. Thierry and I each got here in on the similar time and we dwell in Academy digs collectively, so we communicate typically and know the way one another play.
“Overall, enjoying with all these guys was enjoyable, it was a superb sport and I really feel like everybody expressed themselves and did nicely.”
Dublin-born ahead Oko-Flex first moved to London as an eleven-year-old, becoming a member of Arsenal after being advisable by former Gunners, Hammers and Republic of Ireland midfielder Liam Brady.
He later joined Celtic in the summer season of 2018, being named in his first senior matchday squad as a 16-year-old and making his senior debut in January of this yr.
Now, the skilful Oko-Flex – who took on the captain’s armband on Saturday after Emmanuel Longelo was substituted via damage – is trying to throw himself into the younger Hammers’ busy pre-season fixture programme and begin 2021/22 with a bang.
He defined: “Saturday was a superb begin. We truly got here again two weeks sooner than most groups,to work on our health, so all of us felt good on the market towards Loughborough.
“Usually, in first video games of pre-season, you attempt to get 45 minutes, however most of us bought 60 or 70 minutes. We felt sturdy and match.
“Loughborough have been additionally a robust, bodily aspect, and a superb check, however we confirmed our health ranges and we simply wish to hold increase that pre-season kind.
“Gaining extra health is what pre-season is all about – getting sharper, getting fitter. Personally, I wish to get as match as I can get, hold scoring targets, hold creating possibilities and assist the group hold profitable as we construct as much as the brand new season.”