Winston Reid will be looking to put on a show for his family and friends when West Ham United travel to New Zealand in July.

The Hammers defender was born and brought up in the Auckland suburb of North Shore until the age of eight, when he moved to Denmark.

While he has spent the majority of his life away from home, Reid has retained strong ties with New Zealand, returning regularly and being appointed national team captain in 2013.

This summer, the No2 will enjoy the new and welcome experience of representing his Club on home turf, with dozens of his friends and family members expected to attend the Football United Tour fixtures against Wellington Phoenix and Sydney FC.


"It's going to be nice for me personally to go back," Reid confirmed. "The majority of my family live there and it's where I'm from. It'll be nice for the boys too, to experience a different part of the world.

"I only normally get the opportunity to play in front of my friends and family for the national team and now I get to do it with my Club as well, so it's going to be enjoyable for me."

Reid, who played junior football for Milford School and Takapuna AFC in his childhood, is excited about the opportunity to return home.

Supporters from across Australasia are also relishing the chance to catch the Hammers in action, with capacity crowds expected for the fixtures with the Phoenix at Eden Park on 23 July and Sydney FC at Westpac Stadium on 26 July.

The centre-back praised the Phoenix for enticing West Ham and Newcastle United to become the first English top-flight clubs to visit New Zealand in 29 years.

"I've known about the trip for a while," he revealed. "There were a couple of representatives from the Phoenix here [in London] recently and I had a meeting with them where they talked about the interest in bringing the Club down."

"I thought it sounded exciting and fair play to them, they've done a lot to make it happen and I think the guys are looking forward to it."

Reid and his West Ham team-mates are used to spending their pre-season camps training in hot and sweaty conditions, but conditions in New Zealand are set to be a much cooler.

Average July temperatures in Auckland and Wellington are just 11C (52F) and 10C (49F) respectively, meaning the Hammers are more likely to putting on tracksuits than sun cream!

However, Reid is remaining optimistic about the weather conditions that await him and his colleagues during what is, first and foremost, a week aimed at getting them fit and sharp ahead of the 2014/15 Barclays Premier League campaign.

"Hopefully the weather will be alright in July!" he continued. "I know it will be winter down there, but Auckland is a beautiful city and all the people in New Zealand are very friendly, so I think it'll be ten days of enjoyment, while obviously we'll be working hard in our pre-season.

"We're going down there for hard work."

Football United Tour