Chadwell Chatter - James Tomkins

James Tomkins looks ahead to Monday's UEFA Europa League draw

Hello everyone

It is not long now until everything kicks-off again and we are all really excited ahead of the Europa League draw which takes place on Monday.

To see who we are playing, where we might be travelling to and to be playing some top sides from across Europe is something we are all looking forward to.  As a player you want to play in competitions like this and play against the best players and teams on another level.

So it will be interesting to see who we will be playing in the first lot of games. When the club last played in Europe I was only just beginning my career here as a youngster, but I know it created a lot of excitement with the fans and everyone.

To have European football in the last season at the Boleyn Ground will be a great way to say goodbye to the stadium too.

Having missed the last couple of months because of injury, I can’t wait to be playing again.
I got on against Newcastle  United in the last match of the season but it just feels that I haven’t played for ages and so I can’t wait to get out there again.

I am looking forward to working under our new manager Slaven Bilic. I want to wish Sam all the best, he was brilliant to me throughout his time at West Ham.

Now we look forward to this season in what is a new era for the club under Slaven.

Like all new managers, he will want to bring his own style, the way he wants to do things. He knows the club, the ambitions and he was known as a player who played in the style as someone who wore his heart on a sleeve.  Having being a manager at international level he will bring a lot of experience of that, especially with us starting back early with the Europa League, so we’re all looking forward to the new season and what is an exciting time at the club.

I hope you have all been enjoying the summer so far. It has been nice to spend some time with family and friends and re-charge the batteries.

I am looking forward to seeing the rest of the lads again for pre-season and meeting the new boys who have joined us and welcome them to the club. It’s always good banter on the first day and getting back to the routine, it will be good.

Now the fixtures are out, I am sure all of you have looked at when games are. It is going to be an historic season for us with it being the last season at the Boleyn Ground.

While we are all looking to the big kick-off, there is also a big interest in who we will be playing in the last home match at the ground, which is against Swansea City on 7 May.

This is going to be an emotional season for all these reasons, we’ll be looking to give the Boleyn Ground a good send-off by getting good results at home and to add more special memories for everyone before we go.

The new home kit was revealed today and I think it is great. It has a really nice feel when you put it on.

It has our colours in a traditional way and it is very retro, I like it a lot and am looking forward to wearing it. Being the last home kit for the Boleyn Ground, it is very special. It has a nice motif on it commemorating the fact it is the last season here and so I think fans will appreciate that.

See you all soon