Woody looking forward to testimonial match

Andy Woodman is already gearing up for the final game of the Hammers' season: his testimonial match at the Sixfields Stadium in Northampton on Tuesday the 15th of May.

"I'm getting a bit of a ribbing from the lads - I think they're looking forward to smashing as many goals past me as possible," he joked. "Other than that, I'm looking forward to it!

"Northampton Town were promoted in 1997 in the Wembley play-off final and we've got all those guys together, along with a couple of other players, Gareth Southgate being one of them.

"Curbs has also promised me a full eleven from the squad that finishes the season against Man United, so it'll be a good night. Hopefully it could be a celebration for all of us, providing we get the results that keep us in the Premiership, first and foremost."

Woody has been enjoying his time as goalkeeping coach for the youth team at West Ham United since hanging up his gloves as a professional keeper and joining the Club last July.

"It's a great Club," he said. "I've really taken to the place. It's a top place to be at. Anyone on the outside who doesn't know what it's like: it is a real family Club. Over the years listening to people say that and being on the outside, I always wondered if that was the case but it is.

"It's a top club and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. I'm just hoping and praying, like all of us, that we can stay up and keep ourselves in the Premiership because it will be great for everyone concerned."

Woody will hopefully be calling on his best mate, Gareth Southgate, to do the Hammers a favour and lead Middlesbrough to victory in their final matches of the season against Wigan Athletic and Fulham.

"It's amazing, about eight of the coaching staff have said to me: 'get on the phone to your mate!' and I can assure you I have spoken to him on numerous occasions," Woody said. "Knowing him as I do, even if they get a result they won't take their feet off the pedals. It's just not the way he operates.

"He will definitely be trying double hard, especially if he knows he's going to be playing against this West Ham lot in the testimonial! That could be an added incentive."

Tickets for the testimonial match are now on sale, and Woody added: "It would be nice to get a really good turn-out of West Ham fans, not just for Northampton, but for our boys, for the effort and work rate they've been putting in."