Young Dundee star Fin Robertson says emulating the exploits of West Ham’s one-club man Mark Noble would be a dream come true.
The 18-year-old central midfielder hopes to come face-to-face with the Hammers skipper in today’s friendly at Dens Park.
And he says if he achieves half of what the 34-year-old has at West Ham during his career he’ll be a happy man.
Described as ‘Mr West Ham’, Noble has been at the club since the age of 13 and made his debut in 2004.
Since then he has played 527 times for the East London club, including more than 400 in the English Premier League, and was voted Hammer of the Decade in 2019.
Good vibes in St Andrews 😁 pic.twitter.com/nd7hRhVwhj
— West Ham United (@WestHam) July 6, 2021
A potential ‘one of our own’ contender himself, Dundee fan Robertson is returning from a long-term ankle injury suffered in February.
After featuring in both pre-season matches so far, the teenager is looking to get more minutes under his belt before competitive action starts next week.
‘Kind of player you want to base yourself off’
David Moyes’ side are taking on the Dark Blues as part of their pre-season training camp in St Andrews.
The likes of Michail Antonio, Manuel Lanzini and Aaron Cresswell could be on show at Dens Park.
However, as a central midfielder, Robertson is most excited about facing Noble.
Robertson said: “He’s had a brilliant career, playing the whole time in the English Premier League.
“He’s always kept himself at a high level and that’s the kind of player you want to base yourself on, people like that.
“He’s been at his club since he was a kid so if I could try to emulate half of what he’s done, I’ll be pretty happy!
“Hopefully, I can be out there again. It’ll be a really tough test but that’s what you want to do, play against the best teams.
“I think it’s a good set-up for us ahead of going back to the Premiership against opposition with real quality.
“Hopefully, we can put on a real show for the fans.”
Very different challenge
Robertson’s boss James McPake, meanwhile, expects a far different challenge to those his side have faced in pre-season up till now.
Dundee have picked up 3-0 wins against Forfar Athletic and Leyton Orient ahead of the Premier Sports Cup starting next week.
His players are in good spirits as they continue their form from the end of last season.
With that in mind, he expects another positive performance from his side.
“The players are looking forward to getting out on the pitch as much as they can because there is momentum there from the tail end of last season,” the Dens boss said.
“There is a real togetherness and I think that’s been magnified by the fact they can get in the dressing-rooms and they are a proper squad now.
“It’s been good to sit back and watch that.
“I have to compliment each of the players for their work-rate since we started back, it’s been incredible.
“The players are fit and ready to go.”
— Dundee Football Club (@DundeeFC) July 6, 2021
On today’s opponents, McPake added: “West Ham are a good side with a fantastic manager so I think it will be a good game.
“It will be different to the other games we have played.
“But they are at a stage in their pre-season where they are building up their fitness.
“We’re a bit different – we need to top some players up before the Brora game on Tuesday.
“We expect another exciting game”