Hoult on alert
By Oliver Bhurrut
RUSSELL Hoult admits the arrival of Tomasz Kuszczak will keep him on his
toes during the Baggies' Premiership return.
Speaking exclusively before Albion's first training session on their Denmark
tour today (Monday), the Hawthorns' No.1 revealed he first came across the
Polish international shot-stopper on a pre-season goalkeepers' course ten
And Hoult, who kept 21 clean sheets last season, is now relishing the extra
competition back in the top flight, especially after his troublesome back
came through the sternest of tests on the week-long Stafford training camp.
"I met Tomasz first on the goalkeepers training course the week before
last," said the former Derby custodian.
"It's always good and healthy to have competition and we'll have to see how
"I'm feeling all right at the minute.
"We did three sessions-a-day on the goalkeepers' course we were on, starting
at 9am with the last one finishing around 8.30pm.
"It was a tough week but productive and it's better for us than running.
"Running is okay to keep fit and keep the weight off but for keepers it's
not practical for football and playing matches.
"It's a good course and Fred Barber puts us through our paces.
"I'm looking forward to getting through the pre-season games now and taking
it one step at a time.
"The back feels really good - the best it's been for a while.
"The rest through the summer has done it good and the goalkeepers' training
course was probably the biggest test it could face all season."
Both Hoult and Kuszczak were the guinea pigs for the new Nike colour balls
on their training course.
The sports manufacturing giants have created a yellow ball which looks set
to be used in the Premiership this season during the dull winter days from
And the Baggies duo, as well as Joe Murphy and Simon Miotto, were first to
get their hands on it along with the blue and white Nike ball used during
"The new balls are very quick and very light," Hoult remarked.
"They're easier to kick but they move all over the place.
"They also have lines all over them which spin around and are slightly
off-putting. But the more we use them the easier it will get for us.
"We used the new yellow ball and an orange one without lines on.
"We tested everything out for night games and experimented with lots of
different Nike balls."