Noble loving life in Seattle

  • Mark Noble and Reece Burke appeared live on Seattle’s Q13 Fox News on Sunday
  • Captain told host Aaron Levine how much he and the squad are enjoying their US Tour
  • Skipper is a big NFL fan and is inspired by training at Seattle Seahawks' VMAC training complex
Mark Noble told Seattle’s Q13 Fox News he is loving life on West Ham United’s US Tour on Sunday evening.

The captain is a self-confessed fan of many things American and is a regular traveller across the Atlantic Ocean when his packed football schedule allows.

Noble has led the Hammers to the Pacific Northwest for the start of a two-match pre-season tour, which will kick-off with a fixture with Seattle Sounders – the biggest club in the MLS – at 67,000-capacity CenturyLink Field on Tuesday at 7.30pm PT (Wednesday at 3.30am BST).
The No16 has been inspired by West Ham’s training facilities at Virginia Mason Athletic Complex, where the NFL’s 2013 SuperBowl champion Seattle Seahawks call home, and was in awe of the locker room used by the likes of quarterback Russell Wilson and cornerback Richard Sherman.

“Training at VMAC is a bit surreal and it was an inspirational experience to walk in and see it on Day One. To see the Legion of Boom’s lockers (the nickname given to the Seahawks’ famed group of hard-hitting defensive players) was fantastic and their training ground is just amazing.

“The facilities are just fantastic and we are all really honoured and enjoying having use of them, so thanks to the Seahawks, who are actually my NFL team, for letting us in!

“We have our first game on Tuesday and we know it’s going to be tough as the Sounders are in the middle of their MLS season and we’ve only been back in training a few days, but we’ll go into it with the right focus and hopefully it’ll be a great occasion for everyone.

“Before and after the game, we’ve got a little bit of time off and we’re looking forward to being able to fish and play golf and try to enjoy some more of this great city.”
We’re looking forward to getting our first game under our belts and I’m sure it will be a fantastic experience
On the Sounders, Noble is relishing the prospect of playing in front of 50,000-plus fans in a soccer-mad part of the United States against a club which once named Bobby Moore and Geoff Hurst among its team members.

Nowadays, the Sounders have a strong squad that includes US national-team captain Clint Dempsey and former Hammers right-back Tyrone Mears.

“We know they’re the best-supported team in the MLS and we’re looking forward to the atmosphere and I’m sure there will be a lot of fans down there.

“We’re looking forward to getting our first game under our belts and I’m sure it will be a fantastic experience.

“Tyrone and I played together for about a year and we drove to training together a few times. He’s a great lad and a very good player and he’s come out here and is obviously really enjoying the experience.”

Concentrating on West Ham themselves, Noble told Q13 Fox host Aaron Levine that the Hammers are determined to push on after finishing seventh in the Premier League last term.

With the new Stadium and new players to look forward to, the midfielder says the Club has loftier ambitions in 2016/17.

“We put a lot of pressure on ourselves going into this season because we had such a great year last year. If we had kept all our players fit – at one stage we had five main attacking players out – we could have done even better.

“We’re looking forward to moving to our new Stadium and our main aim is to better that seventh-place finish in our first year there next season.”

Finally, it seems Dimitri Payet’s stunning achievements have made it all the way to Seattle, where fans have been wowed by his performances for both West Ham and France.

The Hammer of the Year scored his third goal of Euro 2016 in Sunday’s 5-2 win over Iceland while Noble and company trained at VMAC, and Payet now faces a semi-final clash with Germany.
Noble has not been surprised by his French friend’s displays.

“For me, Dimitri has been the best player at the tournament. For me, we knew how good he was before the Euros but I’m not sure France knew how good he was, and now the whole world knows how good he is!

“It’s great for us, great for West Ham. Obviously we’re disappointed he’s not here in Seattle with us, but he’s got a big semi-final and we wish him luck.”