CB: Why was it West Ham that NYC Hammers chose over other UK teams?
SF: I would like to say that the majority of supporters were born close to Boleyn Ground but the real answer is that the majority, including myself, fell into West Ham through music or family relations living in the East End. We all look like we have just been to see The Clash or Cockney Rejects the night before. I feel that this is the reason that the rich history of the club takes a back seat in their final decision to choose West Ham. I would also like to think it’s my infectious wide-eyed enthusiasm that keeps everyone coming back, but that would really sell down the fantastic work the Venue, Smithfield NYC, does to have every West Ham game for us.
CB: Are the majority of NYC Hammers American or expats?
SF: We have a mixture of both but the majority are American, with new members joining us regularly from both backgrounds.
CB: How do you manage to keep up-to-date with all team news?
SF: There are a few ways we try to keep up-to-date. We do get Sky Sports News on a daily basis and we get some news from the Internet. The BBC comes in very handy but I try to update the supporters by taking the news articles and throwing them into a weekly newsletter to announce when the games are going to be on, it works out easier that way to keep everyone involved. Also Twitter has helped.
CB: Who are NYC Hammers favourite players?
SF: Di Canio! Ok he doesn’t play anymore but I went to see him play once against Derby and he is still loved by all the NYC Hammers along with Bobby Moore. As for current players Carlton Cole, Mark Noble and Jack Collinson are all favourites. I have got to say Joe Cole’s return has been the talk of the town after his two assists against Manchester United! Hurst and Martins are still remembered but not as honoured as Bobby Moore. Carlos Tevez will also always be apart of the club in our eyes.
CB: How have you found our summer signings?
SF: A lot has been said about the loan signing of Andy Carroll and we are all gagging for him to have a great game. We all feel it’s in the works and it’s only going to be a matter of time before it comes. Carroll could prove his position as a Hammer hero given the chance to settle just like Vaz Te. We are waiting for Carroll to have his moment and we will be waiting in anticipation.
CB: What did you make of our January transfers?
SF: Joe Cole has blown away our expectations with his return debut against Manchester United and we hope to be awed furthermore for the rest of the season. Cole’s performance was one he never showed at Liverpool and barely got the chance to show at Chelsea. It’s fantastic he is back and able to spread his wings and show the world what he is actually able to do.
CB: Any recommendations from the MLS?
SF: Honestly no. The league is still finding its place in the world of football. It’s nice to go and have a day out watching football that’s close by, but to compete in Britain where the ball moves twice as fast and the competition is so dominant I would not expect anyone to come easily forward toward the Premier League. I mean really, Beckham showed Donovan up and some how Everton think he is a star player! Go figure? I haven’t seen anything special I would want at West Ham coming from the MLS.
CB: What’s your opinion on the Olympic Stadium and why?
SF: Officially it can only bring us up to where we want to be. I personally don’t think there is anything wrong with the Boleyn Ground and neither do the rest of the NYC Hammers. Having said that, times change and we have to move on just like other clubs have. I have been to the Boleyn Ground several times and I have been to the Olympic Stadium for the Olympics. I prefer the Boleyn but you have to let go and enjoy the memories. We have to compete against so many clubs in the league that enjoy a proper payout with the size of there stadiums.
CB: What’s your end of season prediction?
SF: We will stay up. We had a good start and there are better candidates for relegation. Next season is yet to be seen.
CB: And finally what are your thoughts on Sam Allardyce?
SF: The jury is still out. If he can keep West Ham up and performing like they are, he might quiet the criticism of his style and earn a status like the greats such as John Lyall and Ron Greenwood.
CB: Thank you Sean for answering my questions. It’s great to see that West Ham has worldwide support! I can’t wait to one day join the team of NYC Hammers in Smithfield’s New York City for a pint while watching a good West Ham game packed with ups and downs no doubt!