Hammers launch Premier League season

  • Slaven Bilic, Mark Noble and Foundation representatives helped launch the new 16/17 Premier League season
  • West Ham United were one of only four teams to be invited to the launch
  • The Hammers start their league campaign away at Chelsea on Monday 15 August before hosting AFC Bournemouth the following Sunday

Slaven Bilic, Mark Noble and representatives from the West Ham United Foundation were on hand early on Wednesday to mark the official launch of the new 2016/17 Premier League season.

Following the successful opening of the Club’s fantastic new home last week, both Bilic and Noble were in good spirits as they prepare for the new campaign.  

Starting with a mouth-watering London derby away at rivals Chelsea on Monday, the Hammers will then host AFC Bournemouth the following Sunday, in the very first Premier League fixture at London Stadium.

Looking ahead to the start of the new Premier League campaign, Bilic said: “We know it’s a long season, so we want to start good. We’ve had a good pre-season, now we have five big games between now and the first international break.

“We are confident, we have some very good new players and we are definitely ready for the start of the new season.”

Club captain Mark Noble was equally as excited, looking ahead to the season opener at Stamford Bridge, he said: “We’ve got three games coming up in a week, but at the moment the Chelsea game is the only one I’m thinking about.

“It’s a great game for our fans, against our rivals, under the lights. It’ll be tough, they’ve got some great players and a new manager. But saying that, we’re confident, we’ve got a good squad and we’ve bonded well. It should be a great game, I can’t wait really.”

The launch event at Market Road, Islington was also a fantastic occasion for West Ham United Foundation youngsters to showcase their skills, with the added incentive of playing in front of the first team manager and club captain.

Having been invited to the launch as one of only four Premier League clubs, the Hammers were in good company alongside Leicester City’s Claudio Ranieri and Wes Morgan, Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger and Jack Wilshere as well as Premier League new-boys Sean Dyche and Tom Heaton.

The tournament, a fitting curtain-raiser for what is expected to be one of the most thrilling seasons to date, was made up of participants from the four club’s Foundations.

Each team was represented by a Premier League Kicks and School Sport side, which had the chance to showcase the incredible work that takes place in the community via football clubs and Premier League funding.

Skipper Noble watched on as West Ham’s Premier League Kicks team beat both Arsenal and Leicester 3-0, before winning 4-1 against Premier League new boys Burnley.

Noble was not just a spectator though; the Canning Town born captain rallied the young Irons with an inspiring pre-match talk before taking part in a Q&A with the School Sport team.

The day, however, was less about winning football matches and more about celebrating the great work carried out by community schemes. Foundation participants flittered between football and multi-sports, testing themselves in handball and athletics, demonstrating the diverse programmes on offer from the Premier League.

Speaking after a successful morning’s work, Foundation Development Officer George Chukwuma, who coincidentally went to the same primary school as Noble, beamed: “It’s great to be able to showcase what our Foundation is all about, and to celebrate the good work Foundations do across the country.

“The support and funding the Premier League give us is massive. To be part of the official launch of the new Premier League season is very special. We’re delighted to be part of today’s launch, and delighted with how well we did because a lot of hard work has gone into it!”

To find out more about how to get involved in our Premier League funded projects, contact WHU Foundation Community Manager Shamajul Motin at [email protected]