Hammers start work in Seattle

  • West Ham United landed in Seattle, Washington for the start of two-match US Tour on Saturday
  • Hammers trained at Seattle Seahawks' VMAC training complex on shores of Lake Washington
  • Midfielder Havard Nordtveit is already enjoying life as a West Ham player
West Ham United got down to work in the Seattle sunshine at the start of the Club’s 12-day US Tour on Sunday.

The Hammers will spread the West Ham Way to the Pacific Northwest and North Carolina by taking on the MLS’ biggest club Seattle Sounders and ambitious NASL side Carolina RailHawks.

Slaven Bilic and his staff led the Hammers through an introductory training session at the picturesque Virginia Mason Athletic Center (VMAC) training complex home of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks.

The players were impressed by the sheer scale of the Seahawks’ facility, where they visited the 2013 Super Bowl champions’ locker room, where the likes of All-Star quarterback Russell Wilson, cornerback Richard Sherman and tight end Jimmy Graham prepare for action.

While Mark Noble and Aaron Cresswell checked out the equipment used by the Gridiron stars, Andy Carroll and Cresswell tried their hand at throwing an American football around an indoor field in the company of Seahawks’ staff.

On the training pitch, new boy Havard Nordtveit enjoyed his second session with his new teammates on the shores of Lake Washington before talking to West Ham TV.

“So far, so good!” said the smiling Norway midfielder. “It’s a really good group and I’m looking forward to the next few days of this tour.

“As a boy, I was always dreaming of playing in the Premier League and I never got a chance when I was with Arsenal [as a teenager], then I went to Borussia Moenchengladbach and got a good experience there.

“Now I am back and hopefully, not I have played in Germany, I can do a bit better in the Premier League.”
Nordtveit has quickly been taken into the squad and is relishing the opportunity to play for a West Ham team which became synonymous with team spirit last season.

The experienced 26-year-old has already spoken to manager Bilic and is looking forward to the remainder of pre-season ahead of the big Premier League opener at Chelsea in August.

“It’s a very strong group and they all stand together as a big team and hopefully I will be a part of it,” he continued.

“Everything is there so that we can work hard and get our fitness up to the level that we want to, and as you can see it is amazing and the facilities are on another level than we have in Europe.

“We had a chat before and we are both positive and we will see how we go in pre-season and take it day by day and hopefully then I can get some caps for West Ham.

“We start bang on at Chelsea and it can be a good time to play the big teams at the start of the season because maybe they didn’t find their rhythm and we found it already!

“We’re looking forward to that but we have some friendly games to get through first.”
Nordtveit has quickly struck up a friendship with fellow countryman Martin Samuelsen, with the teenager already generating plenty of interest in their homeland of Norway.

The young winger emulated the midfielder by earning a national-team debut earlier this summer against Iceland, and the former Gunner is also excited by the prospect of seeing Samuelsen develop his game over the coming campaign.

“We come from the same city – well, I’m a farmer and he’s from the city!” Nordtveit confirmed. “He got his debut for Norway in the summer and he was the youngster ever player from our city [of Haugesund] to get his debut.

“Of course he worked hard to get where he is now and so far everyone is liking what they are seeing from Martin. He is showing some really good skills for the national team, so I think we will see much more from him.”

While the majority of Americans will be on holiday on Monday 4 July for the Independence Day holiday, the West Ham squad will have another double session in preparation for Tuesday’s opening pre-season match with the Sounders as the impressive CenturyLink Field.

For full details of West Ham’s 2016 US Tour click here.