From the Terraces - Italian Irons

West Ham United’s double header of games in Austria and Slovenia this week has presented a unique opportunity for one locally based fan.
Italian Iron Paolo Barbuio would normally only be able to travel to a handful of games a season, but living near Venice – 279 miles from Kapfenberg, where the Hammers took on Karlsruher SC on Saturday, and 151 miles from Ljubljana – has given him the opportunity to watch his team twice in a matter of days.
The Hammers are looking to progress to the group stages of the UEFA Europa League and Barbuio, whose interest in the Hammers was stoked by the presence of a certain legendary countryman in the early 2000s, is delighted to be there at the start of the journey.
He said: “We were very happy to be in Austria last weekend and it was great to have West Ham so close to us.
“We come from Italy, near Venice, so we were happy that the team is here, near to our town, and we hope that the season ahead will be very good.
“With the Europa League game in Ljubljana too, we will be there and we hope to see another win!
“I have followed West Ham since 2000, when Paolo Di Canio arrived in London, and I began to travel to London to see the matches in 2009.
“My first match was against Hull City at Upton Park. We won 3-0, and I remember Valon Behrami scoring.
“The last match I went to was West Ham-Sunderland in February, when Michail Antonio scored.  Upton Park was a beautiful Stadium and I look forward to getting across to London again soon.”