The West Ham team flew from London Heathrow last night on their way to New Zealand on Qantas flight QF2. They took off at at 9.30pm Thursday evening but will not arrive in Auckland New Zealand until midday on Saturday. They have already landed in Dubai and now on a 13 hour flight to Sydney, Australia then a short 3 hour hop to New Zealand.
Thankfully Air Qantas do not fly routes over the Ukraine but sad news has been reported that two Newcastle fans on their way to New Zealand via Malaysia to watch the football united tour were two of the British fatalities in the tragedy. I am sure all West Ham fans will join the football community in sending their condolences to their friends and family.
When the team arrives and recovers from jet lag West Ham fans in New Zealand will get the chance to watch the hammers train when they stage several open training sessions on their Football United tour. Three will be open to supporters in Auckland and those in attendance will witness Hammers manager Sam Allardyce and his coaching staff whip their squad into shape to face A-League sides Wellington Phoenix in Auckland and Sydney FC.
The open training sessions are scheduled as follows:
Sunday 20th July, 11.30am, North Harbour Stadium,Auckland
Monday 21st July, 11.30am, North Harbour Stadium,Auckland
Tuesday 22nd July, 11.30am, Eden Park Auckland
The real fun starts on Wed 23rd July with a match against Wellington Phoenix at Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand, (7.45pm local time 6.45am Kick Off UK time)
Ticket prices for the West Ham v Wellington fixture start from 59 NZD (£30.20) for Adults and 20 NZD (£10.25) for Children.
This is followed by a match against Sydney FC at the Westpac Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand on 26th July (2pm local time 1am UK time)
Silver ticket prices for the Westpac Stadium double-header are priced at 95 NZD (£48) for Adults, 45 NZD (£22.80) for Children and 235 NZD (£119) for a Family (Two Adults/Two Children).Gold seats are available for 129 NZD (£65.30) for Adults, 59 NZD (£29.90) for Children and 319 NZD (£160.60) for a Family (Two Adults/Two Children).
BT Sport have announced both New Zealand matches will be screened in the UK for those who can get up early enough or decide to Sky+ it or tape on VHS.
I am waiting for confirmation of who didn’t make the trip but Morrison, Maiga and Valencia are three of names missing from the trip but Danny Potts has made the trip.
UPDATE Here is the West Ham squad who have flown out: Kevin Nolan (captain), Mark Noble (vice captain), Winston Reid, Aaron Cresswell, James Tomkins, Matt Jarvis, Cheikhou Kouyate, Andy Carroll, Mauro Zarate, Stewart Downing, Ricardo Vaz Te, Adrian, Jey O’Brien. James Collins, Guy Demel, Diego Poyet, Carlton Cole, Daniel Potts, Sam Howes, Daniel Whitehead, Matthias Fanimo and Leo Chambers.
Sydney FC head coach Graham Arnold says he will use “novelty” matches against West Ham United in New Zealand next week as selection trials to formulate his new starting line-up. The former Socceroos boss said it would be a great challenge to match it with the English Premier League team but a prime opportunity for players to prove their worth. “The tournament in New Zealand is a novelty to the players, it’s an opportunity for them to test themselves against international quality players,” Arnold said. "Newcastle and West Ham, I’m sure, will be in the same predicament as us; they’re three or four weeks out from their first Premier League game so they’ll be using it as practice in preparation for the season ahead.The slate has been wiped clean since I’ve been here and they’ve got to impress me. They’ve got to earn their own jersey and a starting position. Arnold has no expectations for the games and is more concerned about making sure his squad is prepared for the A-League’s tenth instalment.