Ramble meets James Saban

  • by Staff Writer
  • Wednesday, 27th November 2019

West Ham Kit Manager James Saban, who has now been in the role for 12 years at the club, has spoken of the changes to his job and the levels of organisation required to manage the vast amounts of kit now required by a top level football club.

Saban spoke with Football Ramble Daily podcast's 'Ramble Meets...' show telling host Luke Moore about the logistical challenges the role entails, his 'boot-steaming' tricks of the trade and how he is preparing for the busy upcoming Christmas period.

West Ham's James Saban on Ramble Meets...

In a conversation about his role at the club, Moore asked him how much it had changed in the time he'd been working at West Ham.

"It's changed a lot," Saban responded. "I wouldn't say that you're at the players' beck and call, but you've got to think of things that you wouldn't usually think of.

"Like we carry a hairdryer with us. Not just for the players after the game, but if the boots are wet. Things like that. Silly little things - I carry hairbands, we carry inner soles for each player. We carry a lot of kit daily and on the away games... it's like moving house on an away game!"

In a later discussion about the tricks of his trade, Saban revealed the 'boot-steaming' process he has in place for the players at the club before training sessions and matches.

"An hour or 45 minutes before training games, we put the players' boots in," he added. "Not all players need it or want it, but it just makes the boot a lot softer, so when they slide their feet in, it's a lot easier for them.

"A lot of them might have niggling toe problems or something like that. It's basically like a kettle, that's the only way to describe it!"

Moore went on to ask Saban about how he has to forward plan for kit requirements over the busy Christmas period.

"We try and plan two or three games in advance, just to give ourselves a fighting chance," he replied. "Especially when we come into the busy period of Christmas.

"Whereas normal businesses will shut on 20 December, I've got to make sure that all my stock of numbers, letters, everything I can get from Adidas and Nike, I've got in well before that so it can see me through three or four games.

"I've got to make sure that everything, whether it be boots or little things, is all catered for over that period."

As part of Football Ramble Daily's new format of six shows a week, 'Ramble Meets...' sees Ramble hosts Luke Moore and Andy Brassell have personable, intimate conversations with the great and good of the game.

From those involved in the highest levels of football, to authors, journalists and pundits, Moore or Brassell speak to them each Wednesday about their careers and experiences.

'Ramble Meets... James Saban' is out today, Wednesday. Listen to the episode & further Football Ramble Daily podcast content at Football Ramble Daily.

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