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‘We went to Hackney Marshes - 50 pitches in one place... it was incredible!’ Tomas Soucek on life in lockdown after just four West Ham games, growing up as an Arsenal fan thanks to Tomas Rosicky and using inspiration from his sporting family

Having grown up as a young boy in the Czech Republic dreaming about playing the Premier League, Tomas Soucek knows plenty about English football.

Right down to the grassroots it transpires. When lockdown begun in March just four games into his West Ham career, late January arrival Soucek needed somewhere to train to stay in shape ahead of the season’s resumption.

‘We went to Hackney Marshes, where there is 50 pitches in one place,’ he smiled. ‘It was incredible for me.

West Ham's Tomas Soucek spent some of lockdown training on pitches at Hackney Marshes
Soucek, pic playing junior football for FC Havlickuv Brod, dreamed of a Premier League bow

‘I heard all about the tradition for playing Sunday league football there, though there was nothing like that during these times.