Video - Mark and the shark!

Mark Noble prepared for pre-season training by wrestling an eleven-foot shark while on summer holiday in Florida!
Mark Noble kept himself in shape over the summer by wrestling with an eleven-foot shark while fishing off the coast of Florida!

The two-time Hammer of the Year returned to pre-season training at Chadwell Heath on Monday feeling fit and refreshed after a break with his family in the United States.

There, the No16 took to the Gulf of Mexico for a spot of fishing but, after catching a number of smaller sharks, he hooked a specimen that would not have looked out of place in the film Jaws!

“I was out in Florida and was fishing on a boat and ended up hooking this eleven-foot shark for an hour and 45 minutes, and I realised I needed to get back pretty quick because I was a bit unfit!” he laughed.

“It pulled us around the sea for a while and I managed to get it by the boat for photos, as you aren’t allowed to get it in the boat as it would have been too dangerous, and then it snapped my rod in half!
“It was a great memory and something I’ll never forget.”

Noble has now swapped the fishing boat for the dressing room and is hoping to feature in the Hammers’ first European campaign in nine seasons.

The midfielder was a teenager on the fringe of the first-team squad the last time West Ham played in Europe in 2006/07, when they fell at the first hurdle in the UEFA Cup. Nearly a decade on, he is hoping the Club’s promising youngsters can help the Hammers progress through the UEFA Europa League qualifying rounds this time around.

“I still remember my first pre-season and it goes so quickly,” he confirmed. “I look forward to coming in and seeing the boys again and getting back out on the pitch and training.

“It would be nice if we can have a run in the Europa League and enjoy those nights at Upton Park before we leave for the new stadium. That would be great.

“The boys who were injured a bit last season and the young boys came in early and I think they’re ready now for the game on Thursday. The rest of us will be ready in a couple of weeks, I’d say.”
Noble has been with the Club for 15 years now and is preparing to work with his sixth full-time manager in new boss Slaven Bilic.

With the Croatian known for his high-tempo, possession-based style of play, the midfielder is relishing the opportunity of enjoying his football under the new boss.

“I’m hoping it will be very enjoyable,” he confirmed. “I’ve not met the new Gaffer yet, as he’s over in Ireland, but it’s a new start with a new set of staff.

“It’s going to take a little while for us to get used to each other and the manager to get used to his players, which is to be expected. He has come from a different country where the fans are not dissimilar to ours – crazy – and I think it’ll be a good match.

“I’m looking forward to working with the new manager and seeing where that takes us this season.”