Jarrod Bowen spent some of his pre-season on a Greek island and a few of it in his uncle’s potato subject.
Born in Hereford into a household of farmers 23 years in the past, the West Ham ahead returns house every summer time for a bespoke health programme put collectively by his father Sam.
‘I name it my previous man’s boot camp,’ mentioned Bowen this week, laughing. ‘Usually we have now two weeks at it laborious earlier than my membership pre-season and it is very old-fashioned.
Jarrod Bowen signed for West Ham in January and has impressed since his £18m transfer
‘The worst one is a wheelbarrow full of muck that I’ve to push up a hill, empty it and carry again. I’ve to try this many times for an hour. Dragging tractor tyres is one other one — although we did not try this one this 12 months.
‘This summer time it was primarily working in my uncle Stu’s potato fields. The floor is so heavy it is like working on sand and signifies that once you lastly get again to grass it appears like a breeze.
‘Dad is an actual nation boy and has masses of concepts. I might say “no” I assume however he says that no one else will likely be doing it and he has a degree. It’s simply an hour a day, is not it? Get on the market and get it completed.’
Bowen is getting ready for the begin of the greatest season of his younger profession. His profile as a Premier League footballer is low sufficient for him to have had every week on the island of Mykonos final month with out receiving any undue consideration and that suited him.
But if issues go effectively to any extent further, a lot of that might change. Signed from Hull in January for £18million, Bowen scored inside quarter-hour on his house debut in opposition to Southampton and was a key determine as David Moyes’ crew prevented relegation.
Bowen was a key determine as he helped West Ham decide up their kind and keep away from relegation
Moyes has spoken of his need to change the tradition at West Ham. No longer does the Scot need costly international gamers cashing in on good wages and the likelihood to stay in London. Instead, Moyes desires hungry footballers eager to show themselves, and Bowen seems to match into that casting.
‘My recreation is about laborious work,’ Bowen mentioned. ‘Passion is what this membership thrives on and that ought to be a given. It fits me rather well. That’s my recreation.
‘When I signed I knew how large the membership was and the way large a leap it is for me. But they’ve put religion in me and I need to repay that. That first aim was unbelievable. What a sense. But there is no means I see myself as a longtime Premier League participant. It will take two or three years of consistency earlier than I can say that.’
A Manchester United fan as a child, Bowen performed in a Hull facet who ran United shut in a League Cup semi-final two and a half years in the past.
At one level he realised he was slightly starstruck standing between Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. At full-time, he was too nervous to ask for a shirt.
‘I used to be nervous they could say no,’ he recalled. It’s a pleasant story, however equally Bowen is aware of such an angle can not endure. It is time to really feel that he belongs.
‘I used to be 19 or 20 again then and all of a sudden was taking part in superstars,’ he defined. ‘It was completely different. These days I again myself.
‘I’m nonetheless going to have a look at them after I see them in the tunnel. But now it is my job. I’m on this league. I’m going to be taking part in superstars each week, we each need to beat one another. I can not be starstruck.’
Hull City missed Bowen who scored 16 targets earlier than he was offered and went on to be relegated
Bowen’s profession was nearly over earlier than it started.
Cast adrift when Hereford’s youth crew was disbanded eight years in the past, he spent six weeks coaching at Cardiff earlier than he was rejected. Briefly, the wilderness beckoned.
‘My dad took the name from Cardiff and I simply cried,’ Bowen informed Sportsmail. ‘I did not know what would occur. I hadn’t actually tried at college as all I wished was soccer.
‘But all of a sudden that was it. No soccer. I do not know what would have occurred to me. Maybe I’d have labored in a health club or one thing.
‘But each footballer wants a slice of luck and mine got here when Hereford began that crew up once more. I went again.’
Bowen’s fortune was truly twofold. Not solely was he again at the membership however his former youth crew supervisor Peter Beadle — at the moment managing at Barnet — was promoted to the senior job.
In time, he took a 17-year-old Bowen with him and YouTube footage of his first aim, in opposition to Alfreton, is illuminating. The solely factor purer than the first-time left-foot shot is the subsequent celebration.
‘I all the time watch it as a result of I can pause the video at a sure level and there are eight of my associates who’re all on high of me as I rejoice in the crowd,’ he mentioned.
‘We used to go to all the video games as 13-year-olds. It was a pound to get in and we used to go in the finish the place I scored my first aim.
‘I had a shot a couple of minutes earlier than that went for a nook and appeared up and noticed all my mates in the crowd laughing at me.
‘I believed if I scored there was just one path I used to be working in. That was my dream, to rating for my hometown membership, and I managed to try this. That was adequate for me.’
The closeness of household and associates is a theme of Bowen’s profession. His father has been closely concerned in all his selections and celebrated his son’s first aim for Hull at Aston Villa by leaping 4 rows down the away part to attempt to attain the place the place his daughter was sitting.
‘I want I had a photograph of his ankle,’ Bowen mentioned. ‘It was the dimension of two tennis balls. I feel the adrenaline received to him and he simply misplaced it.
‘He likes the regular seats, not the glamour. He is not about that.
Bowen grew to become the first gamers to rating on his Hammers debut since Kevin Nolan again in 2012
‘For the Southampton recreation I gave him one of my participant tickets and he got here sporting shorts, damaged previous trainers and an previous coat.
‘But he would not care what individuals might imagine. He is the similar dad he was 20 years in the past after I was slightly boy taking part in soccer with him. Nothing has modified simply because I’m in the Premier League and I feel that mindset has rubbed off on me.’
Bowen Snr tells a narrative of how he might have signed for West Ham from Merthyr Tydfil in the Nineties. The transfer fell by means of and he remained perpetually a non-League participant. His son would not know all the particulars however is blissful to imagine it. These days, he likes to suppose he has inherited his father’s urge for food for laborious work and doggedness.
When he made the transfer from Hull in January, it was his dad who packed his son’s belongings into a white van and drove them to the capital. Bowen’s finest buddy from faculty, Lewis, was on board that day and has remained.
‘Coming to a London membership was an enormous choice,’ defined Bowen. ‘I had by no means actually been right here a lot and I knew I had to really feel settled and effectively off the pitch. But it is gone rather well.
‘I informed Lewis he could have to come for lockdown as I did not need to be right here alone. That would have pushed me up the wall and there weren’t many alternatives for him with work again house anyway.
‘So that is labored effectively for each of us. We received a health club put in the home. Lots of Call of Duty performed throughout lockdown. The electrical invoice is going to be enormous.’
You do not have to be a West Ham participant lengthy to perceive what is anticipated. A repeat of final season’s relegation combat, for instance, is not going to be acceptable.
Bowen is wanting ahead to some consistency, one thing extra settled than his profession has provided to date. He was profitable at Hull however performed for 5 completely different managers.
‘There was all the time the query mark of whether or not the supervisor favored me, with new gamers coming in and all that,’ he recalled. ‘It was simply change, change, change. All my profession it was like that. Now I’ve moved to greater and higher issues and am wanting ahead to getting began correctly and settled.
‘The means we performed post-lockdown confirmed quite a bit of good performances. That’s the goal now. A membership like this deserves to be in the high half. There is no cause why we won’t try this.’
Expecting to play on the proper flank in Moyes’ attacking line–up, Bowen is aware of that he is a bit of a throwback and is proud of it.
It is much less frequent for gamers to come up by means of the pyramid and into the Premier League lately and he feels he and his previous Hull team-mate Andy Robertson — now a Premier League and Champions League winner with Liverpool — have served discover that it might nonetheless be completed.
Bowen is decided to assist the Hammers push their means up the desk and get a top-10 end
‘It’s a case of individuals being prepared to take a threat or an opportunity on gamers, is not it?’ he mentioned.
‘Liverpool took a threat on Robbo and folks wrote him off when he signed. But have a look at him now, one of the finest left backs in the world.
‘So individuals suppose there is a large distinction in the requirements of the Championship and Premier League and so they fear about signing gamers with no top-flight expertise.
‘That’s comprehensible however me and Robbo have benefited from golf equipment taking that threat.
‘It can nonetheless be completed, that journey. It would not matter what number of setbacks you have got.
‘I had quite a bit alongside the means nevertheless it makes the story a bit extra particular for me. When I look again and suppose the place I’ve come from, it is a privilege.
‘Eight years in the past it was not wanting as although this may occur. I did not even suppose I’d be taking part in soccer. But I’m in the Premier League. I’ll do no matter it takes to keep right here.’