Duo off to Hungary

West Ham United pair Tony Stokes and Ashley Miller were flying out to Hungary on Tuesday with a view to joining Soproni League title-chasers Ujpest FC.

Midfielder Stokes, 21, and defender Miller, 19, will spend the next week with the Budapest-based club. Should the trip prove successful, the duo could sign on loan until the end of the season early next week.

Formed in 1885, Ujpest are one of the most successful clubs in the history of Hungarian football, having won the league title 20 times and lifted the Hungarian cup eight times. The team reached the semi-finals of the European Cup in 1974 and the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup (now the UEFA Cup) final in 1969 - losing to Newcastle United.

Reserve team captain Stokes, who has been with West Ham United since he was nine, said the opportunity to play competitive football for a team challenging for a domestic title was too good to turn down.

"It is good for my future, to be honest. It is a good opportunity over there to play football at a level comparable to the Championship here in England. It will be nice to be able to try something new.

"Ujpest are a big club and they are going for the title. They are only three points off the top of the table at the moment, but they haven't won it for more than ten years, so if I can play a few games and help them win the championship then that would be fantastic."

Stokes is happy to be sharing his experience with Miller, a good friend who he has grown up with at the Academy of Football. The pair will live together in Budapest, while Ujpest are also providing the players with a car to enable them to get around.

"It should be a good laugh with Ash as we are good mates at the club. I'm glad to be going out there with someone I know as it should make it much easier for us to settle in. They want us to sign straight away until the end of the season but we're just going to go out there for a week initially to see how everything is. If it all goes well, we could sign next week."

Miller is also excited about the prospect of performing in front of big crowds at Ujpest's new 13,500 all-seater Szusza Ferenc Stadion.

"I can't wait to get out there to be honest," said Miller. "It's an opportunity for me to play first-team football and an opportunity for me to show what I can do. It's obviously a completely different country but I've done a bit of research on the internet and I can't wait to have the chance to prove myself. They are a team that is challenging for the title and they play in a smart stadium in front of decent crowds, so I'm looking forward to the challenge."

While he is happy to be heading to Hungary in the short-term, Stokes is hoping to catch the eye of English scouts and forge a long-term future for himself in English football.

"I've got my girlfriend and my life here in England, to be honest, but it will be great if I can get 15 games under my belt and impress the scouts. It will certainly be better for them to see me play in competitive matches rather than reserve team matches. We'll just have to see what happens, but I'm really looking forward to it."

Stokes and Miller's move comes in the same week that Hungary Under-21 goalkeeper Peter Kurucz joined the Hammers on loan until the end of the season.