Laurie Is Back

Steve Laurie hopes to do enough between now and the end of the season to secure a new contract at the club.

 The likeable aussie is emerging from the shadows of a long injury lay off - and came through a reserve game this week to further boost his claim.

"I've had two cartilage operations and I'm just coming back from a foot injury," he explains.

"I've not had a lot of luck, and I've been out for a year."

The defender, who came over from Melbourne, was not expected to play the full game but was forced to because of injury to Scott Minto.

It says a lot about his reserves of strength that he was able to make through the match after such a long layoff - and still have the energy to get booked!

He puts a lot of it down to his work with West Ham's 'body doctor' Dave Marshall, who has been working with some of the players after their regular training sessions end.

Dave has devised a programme of weights for the players, and Steve says it has done him the power of good.

"All the first team and youth team do it, and I feel a lot stronger for it," he says.

"At first I was in the gym just trying to get a sweat on but I didn't really know what I was doing.

"But now, I'm using my time and getting stronger.

"There are a lot of big strikers in the premier league these days and, being a defender, I'll do anything I can to get an edge.

"I'm really feeling the benefit of it - you are sore at the time you do it, but you're not sore afterwards."

Steve did not travel for the Dallas cup, staying behind instead to continue his rehab work.

He will stay in England during the summer to ensure that continues apace and aim to get into the Australia U20 side - alongside Michael Ferrante - for the world cup later in the summer.

Next week, there will be details of how Hammers' supporters can follow the same programme as the players - and an interview with Dave explaining the benefits in more detail.

John Moncur says of the innovative programme:

"This is the best I've done in all my years as a pro - it really keeps your strength up, and I enjoy it a lot."