Hammers arrive in Austria

The West Ham United squad arrived in Graz in Austria on Monday after an early morning flight from London and quickly set about making themselves at home in their new surroundings.

The players were led off the plane by manager Gianfranco Zola into beautiful sunshine before heading by coach to their pretty hotel in the rural village of Bad Radkersburg, their base for the next ten days.

New arrival Luis Jimenez joined up with his new team-mates for the first time and pointedly went to every member of the squad to shake hands and introduce himself. Jimenez was joined a the airport by England trio Matthew Upson, Robert Green and Carlton Cole after they were given an extra week's holiday following their exertions with the Three Lions in June.

The majority of the group that featured in the 2-1 friendly win at Grays Athletic on Sunday also travelled along with Luis Boa Morte, Valon Behrami and Scott Parker. Canada Under-20 goalkeeper Adam Street is also in Austria with the first-team party, as is reserve team captain Bondz 'Gala, Austria U19 midfielder Georg Grasser and promising youngsters Oliver Lee and Anthony Edgar, who signed their first professional contracts with the club last month.

Meanwhile, those players involved in the international tournaments at the tail end of last season are expected to join the rest of the squad in Austria over the next few days. Dean Ashton and Terry Dixon are the only absentees as they have both stayed behind in England to work on their own individual training programmes.

Zola and his coaching staff are expected to work their players hard, with double training sessions scheduled for non-match-days. The players will also be able to keep fit by cycling to and from their hotel to the training pitches.

The competitive action during the trip will be provided in the shape of four friendlies with Flavia Solva the first opponents in Wagna on Wednesday. German Cup holders Werder Bremen follow on Saturday, with Turkish side Bursaspor providing the opposition on Wednesday 22 July. The trip concludes with a game against ND Nura a short hop over the border in Slovenia on Thursday 23 July