Pintus staying in shape

With the first-team squad reporting back for pre-season training over the next week after their well-earned summer breaks, one man in particular is looking forward to seeing what condition they will all come back in.

Antonio Pintus joined West Ham United as fitness coach upon Gianfranco Zola's arrival in September and it is he who will be taking the lead in giving the players a thorough examination when they report back to Chadwell Heath.

"We are going to do some tests when they come back to make sure everybody is OK or not," Pintus told "We are going to be training with the ball a lot so it is important that they come back almost ready and do a lot of exercises of running or jogging or core exercises."

Before the players went away, Pintus, who has previously worked with Chelsea, Monaco and Juventus, ensured that they were all fully prepared to keep themselves in shape with a special programme of exercises for summer. This allowed them to keep fit while still managing to enjoy a bit of a break.

"We wrote down an off-season programme for them so they have to do some jogging, some stretching, some abdomen exercises to try to come back as fit as possible."

While no doubt keeping one eye on the goings on at the Boleyn Ground over the summer, Pintus used the close-season break to return to Italy for some rest and recuperation, and of course some more fitness work!

"I have been to Sardinia to meet the gaffer so we are going to work a little bit to prepare next season. Maybe I will also go to the mountains as I need to climb some mountains. I will be doing fitness even when I'm on holiday!"