West Ham United's Bowen bids to build on 'best summer' so far

Reading’s Junior Hoilett and West Ham United’s Jarrod Bowen in action during their pre-season friendly

Reading’s Junior Hoilett and West Ham United’s Jarrod Bowen in action during their pre-season friendly - Credit: PA

West Ham United's Jarrod Bowen wants to build on his 'best summer' and enjoy more success at domestic and international level this term.

Bowen returned to action for the Hammers in their 1-1 pre-season friendly draw at Reading on Saturday, setting up Nikola Vlasic to open the scoring.

And despite having a shorter break than normal this year as a result, Bowen is looking to maintain momentum.

"It’s always good to play the first game and get it out of the way," he told whufc.com.

"It’s been a different pre-season to normal as I’ve come in with weeks with England under my belt. It’s a different experience for me as you don’t lose as much as you usually do, but it’s still good to get the first game in – especially in this heat!

"I got in the game, had chances, got an assist, so it was good.

"It’s such a long season, going away with England at the end, so you kind of need that down time.

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"You don’t lose too much fitness but you have to keep yourself in top condition when you’re off as well to hit the ground running.

"That’s my main focus for pre-season, to start the season how I finished the last one."

Bowen netted 18 goals in all competitions last season and earned four caps on England duty in the UEFA Nations League, appearing against Germany, Hungary and Italy.

West Ham's Declan Rice and Jarrod Bowen sing the national anthem before England's UEFA Nations League match against Hungary

West Ham's Declan Rice and Jarrod Bowen sing the national anthem before England's UEFA Nations League match against Hungary in Budapest - Credit: PA

And that has whetted his appetite ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar this winter, with Bowen adding: "I loved every minute of my England experience.

"I went there not really knowing what to expect and of course you’re there on merit but you never know if you’re going to play any minutes.

"To play a part in every single game and get four caps for my country has topped off a perfect season. 

"The summer for me was the best one I’ve had so far, I enjoyed every minute of it, and now it’s about working hard and getting into the squad in September and then there’s a World Cup at the end of the year."

West Ham are due to visit Luton Town on Saturday, after a midweek trip north of the border to take on Rangers.

And after completing pre-season against FC Lens (July 30), they welcome champions Manchester City to London Stadium for their first Premier League fixture on August 7.

Bowen said: "It’s good to be back with the boys. We’ve been back a week or ten days now, so it’s good to be back with them and play on the pitch with them too.

"Personally and as a club, we just want to keep progressing as we have done for the last two years.

"For me, it’s going stride-for-stride. My two focuses on a club level and with the national team haven’t changed – I just want to do my best for myself and this club."