Europe excites Ferdinand
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Anton Ferdinand hopes European football with West Ham will boost his England prospects.
Anton Ferdinand is hoping European football with West Ham United will boost his England prospects.
The young centre half has yet to make his senior international debut, but is keen to join his brother Rio in the England squad this season.
A hernia operation denied Ferdinand a place on the stand-by list for the World Cup, while he now has a new coach to impress.
Steve McClaren's first game at the helm is against Greece next month and Ferdinand is eager for inclusion in the friendly.
He admits playing alongside his sibling would be a proud moment for his family and feels competing in the Uefa Cup with West Ham can only aid his aspirations.
"I haven't had anything to do with Steve McClaren yet, but hopefully one day I will," said Ferdinand.
"I have played against his teams at Middlesbrough a few times and hopefully I've done well enough to catch his eye.
"Playing in Europe this season excites my very much. It can only make my game better. I have always wanted to play in Europe and I will get the chance to do it this year.
"Last year I was over the moon just to be mentioned in an England context.
"It has been a dream of mine and Rio's since we were kids to play as centre halves together for England and this year I hope it can come true, not just for me, but it would be unbelievable for my mum and dad.
"That's when I think they will relax and say 'yeah, our boys have done it' because my dad still gets so nervous when he watches me play."
Having reached the FA Cup final last season, and finished in the top ten in The Premiership, The Hammers performed with great gusto upon their return to the top flight.
Ferdinand is confident the club can maintain their upward momentum, but concedes it will be tougher this season.
He added: "It will definitely be harder for us this year because we are not going to be a shock to anyone anymore.
"But the boys are looking forward to seeing what teams have in store for us. We showed in the cup final against Liverpool and in other games against the big boys that we can mix it with them."