A group of lucky competition winners won the chance to be coached by West Ham United boss Sam Allardyce in a recent event at the London Soccerdome in North Greenwich.

The Hammers boss was on hand to offer advice to the group of amateur footballers, who were the lucky winners of a prize offered by Yahoo! in conjunction with the League Managers Association.

For 19-year-old Sam Julian from Cambridge, being coached by a Barclays Premier League manager was an unforgettable experience.

He told West Ham TV: "It was really good, really interesting to hear what he had to say and the coaching staff were brilliant as well. It's been a really good experience.

"It was amazing to be able to show a Premier League manager what we could do. It's been a really good experience.

"I'm just recovering from a ligament injury myself, today was my first day in five weeks of playing, so it was good to come back with this!"

Fellow winner Sajjid Balolia was equally thrilled to get the opportunity to impress Allardyce.

The 25-year-old said: "It's amazing to think this is how football players actually train. I never thought I'd get the chance, so it's great - I really enjoyed it.

"I saw the competition online, on Yahoo! I signed up to watch some highlights but I also saw there was the chance to train with Sam Allardyce so I thought sure, why not. It looks like a pretty cool option, let's go for it.

"My colleagues probably were a little jealous but I'll share my experiences with them."

And did the Hammers boss have any special advice for the Londoner?

"Yes, he said you look at your man on the side, make sure he's not blocked. So, look beyond the marker - that's a pretty good tip which maybe I hadn't followed before so I'll start doing that in the future.

"It was a pleasure to work with him. I'd like to do it again but I've got to win another competition, right?!"

Hammers boss Allardyce was more than happy to pass on his knowledge to the winners.

He said: "It's my first time at this centre and it's a fabulous area for people to come and play a bit of football. The support of Yahoo! is obviously very important through the LMA, which everyone knows I'm a member of and support as much as I can.

"It's been a really good experience for the lads and it's been a pleasure to come down. Seeing everybody coming off with a sweat on and a smile on their face is what it's all about."

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