Seb's Promise

After a fantastic first full season at Upton Park, Sebastien Schemmel has assured Hammers fans he will return 100% fit for pre-season training in July and believes that the next campaign will be an even better one for him and his team-mates.

The French defender saw his season end prematurely during the recent defeat at Arsenal, when he was forced off with a suspected fractured bone in his foot after a freak incident just 12 minutes into the game.

A scan later revealed that the injury wasn't as serious as first feared, but would still be enough to keep the 26-year-old out of action for the final two matches of the season, against Newcastle United and Bolton Wanderers.

However, despite his misfortune, Seb is in positive mood and admits he can't wait to get back in the swing of things after the summer break.

""It was very disappointing for me to become injured in that way, but I
am not worried because I know that the team can play well without me, "he says.

"The injury should only take about five weeks to heal, so I will do some work in the summer and be ready to start training again with the other players in July."

The injury brought a disappointing climax to what has been a tremendous season for the former Nancy and Metz right-back.

Since making the move across the Channel permanent last June following his short loan spell under Harry Redknapp, Schemmel has become a cult hero among Hammers fans thanks to his determination, commitment to the cause, and genuine footballing ability.

A sign of his popularity came by way of triumph in the Hammers News Magazine Player of the Season award, that Sebastien won with almost 80% of the votes.

"I was so happy to receive the award from the readers of Hammers News
Magazine," he smiles.

"It is very important to me, because it comes from the fans who pay
money to watch us play every week, and the respect of the supporters is
the biggest honour a player can have.

"I must say, though, that this award is not only for me, but for the
rest of the team aswell. I would not have been able to play well without
their help, and they deserve it just as much as me."

Schemmel is also favourite to collect the main Hammer of the Year award after next week's closing game against Bolton, and admits that his injury certainly won't prevent him from attending the match in order to repay the fans for their support this year.

"I will be at the game to say thank you to the supporters for being magnificent this season. I have a fantastic relationship with the fans and I love playing for them - they are the best in the world.

"I am already looking forward to next season. I think we can definitely get
better and I am sure that West Ham can win something very soon."