West Ham’s Ings excited by Perth return

West Ham United striker Danny Ings is relishing the prospect of playing at Optus Stadium for the second time in as many years when the Hammers take on Glory on July 15th (tickets HERE).

The man with three England caps to his name was part of the Aston Villa squad which visited Perth ahead of the current English Premier League campaign and secured a 2-2 draw with Manchester United.

Since completing a $24m move to West Ham in January, Ings has made 17 appearances in claret and blue and is looking forward to adding to that tally on the WA trip which will form a vital part of the London club’s preparations for the 2023/24 English Premier League season.

“I’ve done a couple of tours [of Australia],” he said.

“The first one I did was with Liverpool and we did Adelaide and Brisbane which was a really good experience.

“It was my first season with them and getting to soak up the atmosphere and the experience was just amazing.

“And then I went with Villa last year and we did Brisbane, Townsville and the game in Perth as well.

“I really enjoyed my time out there and I’m looking forward to it again in the [northern hemisphere] summer.

“I’m pretty sure it rained actually for the [Manchester United] game, really heavily, but apart from that, it was a really, really good experience and we actually had a very good match as well, so it was the perfect way to sign off on that trip.”

While admitting to not knowing too much about Glory, the 30-year-old is certainly familiar with the A-League as a competition.

“”I was actually speaking to [ex-Brisbane Roar striker] Charlie Austin on the last tour I was on with Villa,” he said, “and he just complimented the way of living over there compared to his experiences here.

“He really enjoyed his time and everything I’ve heard about the league and players that have gone out there has been positive and they’ve really enjoyed the experience.”

Ings, whose vital goal away at Gent helped set up this week’s huge Europa Conference League semi-final against AZ Alkmaar, went on to explain the importance of the Glory game in terms of the Hammers’ pre-season program and confirmed how much they are looking forward to connecting with their Australian fan base.

“Preparation for any season is probably the most important thing,” he said, “so for us, with it being friendly games, it’s a good chance for us to implement what we want to do for the season and get some good tactical work in and also the physical side of it as well.

“It’s going to be a really fun experience, but at the same time, we’re there to work on everything we need to.

“It’s brilliant [meeting the club’s Australian fan base].

“It really gives us players a perspective on how big the club is.

“When you’ve got fans all around the world coming out to support you, it makes the occasion more special, so we’re really looking forward to seeing all the fans out there for the games.”

Following the clash with Glory, West Ham will face fierce London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and while no points or trophies will be at stake, Ings is not expecting either side to take a backward step

“I don’t think it’ll be too much of a friendly game,” he said.

“I think it’ll be pretty intense and both teams will want to win to get one up on the other.

“When you’re playing a derby team, whether it’s a friendly, a Cup Final, or a league game, it’s always the same feel to it.

“You want to beat your rivals at any cost and as players, we’ve been brought up with that and it’s just within us.

“Every derby is super-important, not just for us, but for the fans as well.

“It’s one we’re really looking forward to and to do it over there in front of all the fans will be brilliant.”