Zola glad to be back

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Gianfranco Zola intends to make the most of a crucial few weeks as West Ham look to hit the ground running when the new Barclays Premier League campaign opens against Wolves.

Before the Hammers take on last season's Coca-Cola Championship winners, they will head to a training camp in Austria and then travel to the Far East for the Barclays Asia Trophy, which also involves Tottenham and Hull.

With local friendlies against Thurrock, Grays Athletic and Ryman League Premier Division outfit Kingstonian also before the curtain raiser against Serie A side Napoli at Upton Park on August 8, Zola's squad will certainly not be short of match practice ahead of the visit to Molineux.

The Italian guided the East London club to a more-than-respectable ninth place last season, but missed out on the chance to qualify for the new Europa League.

Zola knows the importance of making the best possible use of this month's preparation times.

"It feels very good to be back," said the Hammers boss on return to training at Chadwell Heath.

"We are here very much willing and ready to start this new season.

"We have a lot of enthusiasm and are looking forward to getting started."

Zola added on WHUTV: "I had a very, very good rest and like everybody else, I recharged my batteries to start the new season.

"This is the most crucial time of the year.

"We need to make sure we work well because it will have a lot of benefits in the future."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Tottenham Hotspur
Premier League
Gianfranco Zola
West Ham United
Hull City
Wolverhampton Wanderers

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