Anton ready to go
By Simon Fudge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
West Ham United centre back Anton Ferdinand says he is ready to start the season.
West Ham United centre back Anton Ferdinand says he is ready to start the season after recovering from a double hernia operation.
The 21-year-old missed a chance to join Sven Goran Eriksson's England standby squad for this summer's World Cup after needing to go under the knife.
Ferdinand is now set to join The Hammers for their pre-season tour of Sweden, as the East Londoners prepare for the new season and a Uefa Cup campaign.
"I had an operation the Wednesday after the (FA) Cup final," Ferdinand told Sky Sports News.
"I'm fine now. I'm back in training and raring to go.
"I'm going to be playing in our first pre-season game, so I'm fine and fit and can't wait to start playing again."
The talented youngster feels positive West Ham can emulate their successes of last season.
"I feel very optimistic," he added. "We had a great season last year and we know this season is going to be harder.
"We're not expecting not to play how we played last year. We want to play better than we did.
"If we continue to do that, then I'm sure we won't have any problems."
After missing out on a chance with The Three Lions this summer, Ferdinand intends to break into Steve McClaren's side in the near future.
"I'm came close to being in the standby squad," said the centre back. "Unfortunately, the double hernia operation kept me out of it.
"That's football. I'm still 21 years of age and I've got a lot to learn.
"I was just pleased to even be mentioned about being the squad and being on the standby list.
"It was very encouraging and showed that people are watching me and seeing me for myself as my own person.
"That was a very big highlight for me last season, but now is the time to progress and try and get stronger.
"It's my aim to get into the England squad and the only way I can do that is to play well for West Ham and that's what I aim to do this year."