Laurie Leaves

Young centre half Steve Laurie is set to leave the club.

The Australian, who joined the Hammers via the academy scheme Down Under, says there are no hard feelings after Glenn Roeder told him he can go.

"My contract is up this month and I have been told it won't be renewed; Glenn said he is not going to keep me on because he has got players that can play in that position.

"But he is going to look for a club for me, although he doesn't do that very often, and it could be a good thing for me; if there was any bad feelings I wouldn't still be there using West Ham to keep fit."

Steve has already had trial games with Norwich, and, on Wednesday, Peterborough.

He says:

"I've been to a few clubs and I'm keeping my options open; the Norwich manager said I would be a good squad player but he has to sign first team players whereas I am young and inexperienced."

A move to Posh would mean following in the footsteps of two former West Ham players, and Steve adds:

"I'm not totally sure what is happening, but I know a couple of players that have been released from West Ham like Tom Williams and Jimmy Bullard there is talk of Jimmy going to Ipswich now."

Other players earning a living after being released from Upton Park in the summer include Terrell Forbes, Stevland Angus, and Steve Purches and Steve adds:

"There are a few other clubs in the pipeline; it has disheartened me a little bit, but I will work hard as people like Terrell did.

"There are a few options in other countries as well but we will have to see what happens; I can only say that I am going to knuckle down because I have got to get myself playing as quickly as possible.

"The Australian under 20 team is coming up pretty soon so I need to be playing; I was captain of the under 17s but that counts for nothing."

Steve, who has been with the club for three and a half years, has had injury problems which hampered his progress at the club - hence the unusual six month contract offered to him in the summer to see if he could make the Premiership grade.

He says:

"I've had a few injuries but I played the last eight games in the reserves last season and I was told I'd done well, so I was hoping to come back into the reserve squad this season but it didn't happen - that's football."

But he has urged West Ham to continue with their academy scheme in Australia which has yet to produce a player for the Hammers although Chris Coyne, now at Luton, is grateful to have used the club as a stepping stone to a career here.

"It is a long way but for big clubs it is a small risk and there could be big rewards if a player does come through," he insists.