Praise For Steve

Outgoing goalkeeper David Forde sees no reason why Steve Bywater can't go on to eventually become England's number one goalkeeper.

David, who was freed in the summer, says of his former colleague:

"I think he could go on and do very well for himself.

"He has played for England U21's challenging up there with Paul Robinson who is now on the bench for England so I can't see why he can't go all the way.

"I have learnt so much from Ludo and working with Stephen; he is still very young but since he came in for Jamo he has done excellently and can't be faulted."

David, who signed from Barry Town when former Hammer Kenny Brown was boss, never made it into the first team, and he says:

"My own experience at West Ham was that I was unlucky; a lot of football boils down to luck anyhow and I just didn't have that break.

"I really enjoyed my time there and loved it, though; the people were great and I have no regrets whatsoever.

"Ludo is a brilliant coach and has done marvellous work with the keepers - I hold him in high regard."

As to the play-off final in Cardiff, he reflects:

"I was a bit surprised and disappointed; I didn't think we performed on the day but the lads did really well to get there."

Of his own future, he concludes:

"I have a couple of options back in Ireland but it is more than likely that I will stay in Britain - that is what I would prefer.

"A couple of clubs want me to come in for pre-season so it is a case of seeing which one is the best.

"Apparently there are 600 players on the list and the market is going down a bit, but it is a case of fingers crossed and we will have to see how it goes."