Gav's Out To Impress

WITH 165 minutes of football over three games, winger Gavin Williams was one of the most played players on West Ham United's tour of Sweden.

The 24-year-old Welshman impressed with his performances on both flanks for Alan Pardew's team and was certainly delighted to get in some match time after a frustrating end to the season.

"It's been really good to get back playing regularly," he admitted. "I didn't get a lot of football towards the end of last season, and it was disappointing to miss out on the Play-off games.

"It was tremendous to see the Club win promotion in my first season here, but this is a new season now and it's all about doing your best in these pre-season games and making sure you do enough to impress the manager.

"I think I did pretty well in the three games in Sweden. It was good to get some match practice in more than anything, but everytime you play you always want to do well.

"All the games were pretty competitive for pre-season. They were good tests and the Swedish teams are in the middle of their season at the moment, so it was a good measure of our fitness.

"At the start of pre-season the aim is to build fitness and work on the physical side of things, and I think that went well in Sweden. The coaches were happy with the way the players worked and we came out with three very positive results.

"There was some good football thrown in as well, especially in the second game against Trollhattan and also two clean sheets, which is important when you consider that we've got in three new defenders and a goalkeeper over the summer.

"Competition for places is going to be really tough next season and when you get a chance to make an impression it's important that you take it."

Gavin will be hoping for another chance to impress when Hammers head west for Saturday's clash with Yeovil Town at Huish Park. It will be something of a home-coming for Gav.

A former player of the year at Yeovil, he left last November to complete his dream move to Upton Park. He returns as a Premiership player determined to make an impact in the top-flight, but is looking forward to being reuinited with the club that helped make his name.

"It'll be great to go back to Yeovil," he said. "I had some great times there and I've still got a lot of friends at the club. Hopefully I'll get a run out because it would be nice to play in front of their fans again. It'll be the first time I've played against them since leaving, so it'll probably feel a bit strange.

"But I've been with West Ham United for quite a while now and I'm really settled at the Club. We'll just be concentrating on putting in another good performance and hopefully continuing the form we have shown over in Sweden.

"Apart from the matches, the training we did out there was incredibly tough. We worked really hard on our fitness and I think we'll start to see the benefits of that in the next couple of weeks.

"In the Premier League, the demands on your fitness are massive and every player has to be in top physical shape to play at that level."

A versatile player, who is comfortable anywhere across the midfield and even up-front, Gavin could fill a multitude of roles for Alan Pardew's squad next season. And just as long as he gets a taste of the big-time, the former Yeovil star is not worried where he plays.

"Obviously I'll play wherever I can best help the team," he insisted. "Midfield is certainly my best position, and I think out wide on the right is where I'm probably most effective.

"But I played quite a few times in the centre of midfield last season and did okay. so I've got no probelms with playing there. Like I said, at the moment I'm just focusing on trying to do my best in training and hopefully put in some good performances that will catch the eye of the manager."