Jarrod Bowen: We work hard and that shows on the pitch
Putting in the hard yards is paying off for Jarrod Bowen.
Just six years after playing in non-league for his local team Hereford United, Bowen has worked his way up to the highest level, playing 21 Premier League games in Claret & Blue since making a January move from Hull City.
His energetic displays on the flank have caught the eye of the Hammers faithful, as has his eye for goal - the 23-year-old has four goals and as many assists to his name for the Club already.
Since a rejection by Cardiff City early in his career, Bowen has had to graft for his opportunities, and he is not ready to stop working as he strives for success in east London.
It’s a work ethic that was instilled in Bowen from the very start, as he continues to return to his family’s farming roots in Herefordshire to ensure that level never drops.
“My uncle has a farm back home in Herefordshire and has a lot of land with different fields,” Bowen explained.
“I don’t know much about farming, I’m probably the one in my family who doesn’t pay attention to the different seasons, but I know he has a potato field and when I went home in the off season this year my old man said you need to use this field for a bit of running and a bit of sprinting.
“The ground is so much different, it’s a bit like running on sand, but thicker and I found it rally good for the muscles and ankles, but also it’s really tough to do the training on. You feel so slow, but then when you go running on the grass you feel like a sprinter.
”It’s just been my training method for the past three or four years, with my old man. He is pretty old school and he doesn’t just want me running around a normal field doing football runs, he wants me in the potato field with weights on my arms.
“It’s different methods that he wants to do with me because I’m really focused on my football and he’s always looking out for me. I’ve done it for the past four off-seasons and have felt really fit coming into pre-season each year.”
Bowen attributes the team’s collective effort as one of the major reasons for their upturn in form since football returned in June - and he credits that to the influence of manager David Moyes.
Now, as the Hammers prepare for Sunday’s trip to Sheffield United, the No20 is sure the team is well set to maintain their strong form.
“The Gaffer wants us to run until we can’t run any more,” he added. “He doesn’t want us to have an easy day and that’s what we need.
“Since the games when we restarted after lockdown, that hunger, that desire has come through in our performances. It helped us get out of the relegation battle that we didn’t want to be in, and we’ve started this season like how we ended last year.
“We’ve put the two together and started strongly with the fixtures we’ve had.
“The manager's been really good since I’ve joined, speaking to me about all sorts of things. What I need to improve on the pitch, or what I could do in the gym, what I could do in my spare time.
“To have the arm around your shoulder from the manager brings the best out of you.
“He said that when I joined, that he wants me to play. The way he’s been with me and dealt with me has been really key to how I’ve settled in.”