West Ham cult figure Adrian says fans are in for an exciting but emotional season

Upton Park

West Ham United goalkeeper Adrian says the club are in for an exciting but emotional season under new boss Slaven Bilic.

Speaking to West Ham's official website on his return to pre-season training after a summer break which saw him tie the knot with his wife Tamara, the cult figure admitted it will be tough to say goodbye to the club's Boleyn Ground home of 112 years.

The Hammers will leave Upton Park next summer to move down the road to the 54,000 seater Olympic Stadium in Stratford.

And despite having only been at the club for two seasons, the 28-year-old Spaniard is fully immersed in east London life and will miss what he now calls his second home.

But it is also exciting times for West Ham who are back playing in Europe for what is one of the landmark seasons in the club's long history.

Ironically, the shot stopper helped former La Liga club Real Betis qualify for the Europa League but did not get to play in the competition after leaving to join the Irons in 2013.

Now he hopes to finally taste a big European night under the Boleyn lights before they are no more.

"It is an exciting time for everybody, for West Ham fans and for all the players because we have new manager, new staff and new players," he told whufc.com.

"It's exciting for two things, from sporting side because we play for the Europa League and also emotional and sentimental as it is the last year at Upton Park."

Adrian: the making of a cult hero

Adrian secured cult hero status with the West Ham faithful last season when he threw his gloves to the floor and scored the winning penalty in an epic FA Cup replay against Everton.

Hammers fans also love his enthusiasm and passion on the pitch and tendency to use social media to give an insight into his life at West Ham off it.

He has played 58 times for the club so far and was even praised for his Premier League form last season by Spain boss Vicente Del Bosque.

The club has brought in Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Darren Randolph on a free transfer from Birmingham City to provide competition for Adrian after the departure of Jussi Jaaskelainen.

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