Sam Caiger: I’m raring to go again
Defender Sam Caiger is fit and raring to go again when West Ham United U23s’ matches resume later this month.
The 18-year-old, an adventurous full-back capable of playing on either side of defence, is keen to put his recent injury troubles behind him.
Since putting pen-to-paper on his first professional contract as a footballer in the summer, Caiger has been out of action with a torn hamstring, but re-emerged in Claret and Blue as a second-half substitute in the U23s’ 2-1 defeat to Everton prior to the festive break.
The development squad’s final game of 2020 at Manchester City was postponed as a precautionary measure, but the young Hammers are scheduled to resume Premier League 2 matches with an exciting London derby at home to Tottenham Hotspur next Friday (22 January).
Caiger has told whufc.com that he is looking forward to being back on the pitch, playing regular football and – all being well – making his mark on the Academy side once more.
“It’s been a tough four months, especially after the pre-season I had,” Caiger told whufc.com.
“I thought I was feeling sharp, I was feeling fit, and then my injury happened, but it was good to get back on the pitch against Everton and now I’ve got to kick on.
“I think now I just need to get my head screwed on, play game-after-game if I can, and make sure I’m feeling match-fit at the earliest opportunity possible.
“I just want to get a good run of games, because I feel like over the last year or so I’ve had little injuries here and there. Now’s the time to just get a good, consistent set of games – and hopefully, all being well, I can keep my eye on the first team in the coming years.“
The young Hammers have produced some impressive performances during the first half of the 2020/21 Premier League 2 season, without always securing the results to match.
A salient example was Caiger’s comeback game, during which Everton raced into an early two-goal lead, only for West Ham to dominate the remainder of proceedings but fail to land the equaliser their control merited.
In numerous ways – final scoreline excepted – it was one of the U23s’ most impressive performances of the campaign, and Caiger is hoping to use it as a platform on which to build during the second half of the season.
He explained: “It’s exactly what the gaffer said: when you lose, you usually come off the pitch disappointed, but I think after the Everton game we didn’t need to.
“I feel like, especially in that game, we dominated and had all the possession – we just couldn’t score. We played well, we battled hard, and we should’ve got a result .
“I’d like to help my teammates score more by getting some assists, and maybe we can nick a result in the next one. We’ll be keen to take our chances, that’s for sure.”