Q: Where do you feel the side needs strengthening most?
a. Creative midfielder
b. Right back
c. Centre back
d. Out wide
e. Up Front
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View From The Opposition - FC Lusitans Vinny 29 Jun 2015
View from the Opposition – FC Lusitans
I like many have always laughed at the notion of teams being awarded a European place for winning the fair play award but now it has actually happened to West Ham I am finding it difficult to hide my excitement.
The Europa League campaign kicks off on Thursday 2nd July and many of us were anxious to see who West Ham would be drawn against with many of the teams in the draw unknown to most.
The draw saw us pitted against Andorra side FC Lusitans (or FC Lusitanos if you prefer). I would be surprised if anyone knew of the club and there certainly is no glamour to the tie yet it looks as though over 30,000 West Ham fans will descend on the Boleyn Ground come Thursday night in the clubs first competitive European fixture since 2007.
Since the draw was made I have not seen or heard any reaction from those connect to FC Luistans. I wanted to try and do a View from the opposition for these European games as talking to Premiership football fans is much of a muchness.
I set out to find a supporter of FC Lusitans but had no luck so on the off chance I thought I would try with one of the players and I was pleasantly surprised when a reply did come.
Those wanting controversial questions will be disappointed but I was just content with actually getting comment from someone connected to a club that I know nothing about at all.
I would sincerely like to thank Alfi Conteh Lacalle for answering a few quick questions leading up to the game.
Can you tell us a little bit about FC Lusitans
FC Lusitanos have 15 years of story. The club was founded in 1999 by Portuguese owners and actually this will be the fifth time in the clubs history where our club will have a chance to play European game competition.
Were you pleased it was West Ham you were drawn against?
Yes! I am very glad to play against them. They are a good team inside a good league.
Tell us a bit about you and your footballing career.
I am Alfi Conteh Cacalle, I am 30 years old. I was born in Barcelona and I have been in different clubs in my professional life. I grew up in the F. C Barcelona academy and I spent 10 years inside F.C Barcelona.
I started as as a professional football player at the age of 18 years old with Barcelona B and even played one friendly match against Olympique de Marseille with the first team under Frank Rijkaard as coach.
I played with the national team of Spain under 17 & 19. I am now an international player with Sierra Leone which is the country of my Dad but is my country too as I have have dual nationality.
I have been playing in Greek league and the Hungarian league and now I am here in Andorra these last few months. I am striker / midfielder. I am left footed and an offensive type of player.
What do you think of English football?
I think English football is very competitive and is a very exciting league. It is one of the best places in the world to play football.
Will West Ham supporters enjoy Andorra?
Andorra is very beautiful place. We have nice mountains,lakes and I am sure they will enjoy this country.
Any West Ham players you are looking forward to playing against?
It will just be good play against all of them!
Are you treating this as a normal game?
We are wanting to give our best and it is a very big game for our club and the country, so it is a very important game.
Are there any players in the Lusitans team we should watch out for?
Edu Moya - He played in top level in Spain (R.C.Mallorca, R.C.Recrativo Huelva, R.C.Celta de Vigo, C.D.Tenerife, Club Bolivar) and he played against Newcastle in a 2004 Europa league match and has also played in the Libertadores cup in 2014.
Óscar Sonejee Masand - he has 101 international games with the national team of Andorra. He has great experience. A few of our players have experience in this competition beacuse they are inside Lusitanos for the last 3-5 years and this is 5 time that Lusitanos will play European tie..
Any predictions for the game?
I don't know the future but I can say we will give our best!
You can follow Alfi on Twitter, @AlfiConteh
So here are for this Europa League campaign. Some will complain and have a negative view on it but then I suspect those people often have a negative view when it comes to West Ham. I personally cannot wait and if this allows me to travel to Upton Park a few more times before we depart then that in itself is worth it.
The appointment of Slaven Bilic, the way the club is attacking the transfer market and of course the removal of the cloud that was Sam Allardyce has me in an extremely positive frame of mind regarding West Ham. I am not going to be pessimistic and wait hoping things fail because that must be exhausting having such a downer on the club you are meant to be following.