West Ham head to Australia for pre-season tour
PUBLISHED: 08:00 04 March 2020
PA Wire/PA Images
The Hammers will take on Brisbane Roar and Crystal Palace in July
West Ham will be heading down under this summer as part of their pre-season preparations for the 2020/21 campaign.
The Hammers will take part in the first ever EVA Air Queensland Champions Cup alongside Crystal Palace and A-League challengers Brisbane Roar, currently managed by former Liverpool and England striker Robbie Fowler.
The Irons will be playing in Australia for just the second time in their history after visiting for a four-match tour to mark their centenary in 1995, will take on Brisbane at Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast on Wednesday July 15.
They then before tackle Roy Hodgson's Eagles at the 52,500-capacity Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane three days later.
Manager David Moyes said: "It's not only a great opportunity for West Ham to play two exciting games in front of our fans down under, it's also a great opportunity to visit a beautiful country which I know loves their sport and is extremely knowledgeable about football.
"I've had the pleasure of going to Brisbane before and it was a fantastic place with warm and friendly people. I'm very much looking forward to going back with West Ham United for what will be an important part of our preparations for the 2020/21 season."
West Ham have forged strong links with Australia in recent decades, starting with the four-game tour undertaken by Harry Redknapp's squad in May 1995.
The trip saw the Hammers travel the breadth of the country, taking on Western Australia in Perth, Victoria in Melbourne, and Australia's Olympic under-23 squad in Sydney and Brisbane.
One member of the Western Australia team which held the Irons to a 2-2 draw at the WACA was Stan Lazaridis, who impressed Redknapp to the extent that he joined for a bargain £300,000 a few weeks later.
The summer of 1995 also saw Australian midfielder Robbie Slater join from Blackburn Rovers, while goalkeeper Steve Mautone played three times in 1996.
Four years later, in 1999, Richard Garcia was part of Tony Carr's record-breaking FA Youth Cup-winning side before going on to make 22 first-team appearances, while defender Hayden Foxe made 12 first-team appearances between March 2001 and February 2002 and full-back Trent McClenahan featured three times in 2004/05.
More recently, Lucas Neill captained the Irons during their Great Escape in 2006/07 and spent two-and-a-half seasons in Claret and Blue, while promising striker Dylan Tombides graduated from the Academy of Football and played one first-team game in 2012, before tragically passing away in April 2014 at the age of 20.