West Ham this morning flew out to Austria for the beginning of the club’s pre-season tour of Europe.
The trip is the start of a four-week trip that will see the club visit Germany before concluding in Iceland and face the likes of Fulham, Werder Bremen and Manchester City in preparation for the 2017/18 campaign.
The players will begin their tour with an 11-day-training camp in the country’s capital in the build up to the forthcoming fixtures.
With the exception of Jose Fonte, who remains rested after being in action for Portugal during the Confederations Cup, the whole of Slaven Bilic’s squad flew out to Vienna, including new signing Pablo Zabaleta who is set to make his first appearence in Claret and Blue in just 10 days time as the club take on Fulham.
Austria has become the destination of choice for the Hammers, as well as number of other Premier League clubs, for pre-season in recent years, and the new Head of Medical Services at West Ham Gary Lewin believes its the perfect environment for the players.
“It’s such a great environment,” said the former England Head Physiotherapist speaking with whufc.com. “The facilities and hotels are always very good, the pitches are a good standard but, more importantly, you can isolate the team, so that you can purely focus on pre-season and football.
“It also means that we can take our injured players with us – we are not isolating them from the main squad and, although they will be integrated back into training at different times, they will essentially have been a part of the same programme.
“This year we can set in stone what we are doing, and have a pre-conceived plan all the way through to the first Premier League fixture. We can all be on the same page, with the same levels of fitness and, hopefully, have everyone relatively injury-free and ready to go.”