Raphael Spiegel on the move from West Ham to Brunton Park
West Ham United keeper Raphael Spiegel spoke to us this week about his one month loan spell and about the move up from London to Carlisle.
“It wasn’t easy to travel up on Friday, and then play on Saturday, but it was a good opportunity for me and I enjoyed being involved in the game a lot,” he said. “I thought the fans were brilliant, the stadium is really good and the pitch is excellent.
“We have some good players and I think we can do a great job here. Our aim is to get points as soon as possible.”
“I found out the move was happening at about 8pm on Thursday night,” he explained. “I had to get to the West Ham training ground to pick up my stuff and then I booked a train ticket for early on Friday morning.
“I spoke to Bobby [Mimms] and he told me about the phone call from Carlisle. He said he wanted me to come here, enjoy it and play the games the way he knows I can. Neil McDonald also phoned me and he is a great guy and a very good coach.
“He said it was a good club and he knows they’re going to look after me. He said he was the manager here a few years ago and that it’s a great place to be.”
“It all happened very quickly, particularly with having to organise everything late at night, so I felt quite relaxed once I got on the train on Friday morning,” he told us. “It’s an opportunity and it’s one I’m looking forward to.
“It definitely helped me to settle with the training session starting shortly after I got here. That meant I could meet the players and get to know a bit about what they do, and how they do it. The people in the office have been great with me and I’ve been made to feel really welcome.
“I saw the mountains during the train journey and that was really pleasing for me. It reminded me of home back in Switzerland.”
“Tony Caig took me under his wing straight away and I think he’s a great goalkeeper coach,” he said. “The training sessions have been really good with him and I think I’m going to learn a lot from him.
“I found out I was playing at the same time as the rest of the lads on Friday. I get a few butterflies before every game but I think that’s only every a positive. I enjoyed my debut.
“I had more to do than in the games I’ve played with West Ham, but that’s good for me. There are more crosses into the box but I think I will only get better because of it. It is more of a physical challenge but, again, that’s just something you have to deal with.
“I’ve learned a lot at West Ham through training with the first team, and playing with such good players, but now I just need some proper games. I’m here to help Carlisle United get some points and hopefully that will happen soon.”
“I’ve missed playing games that matter in front of fans and it’s good to have that back,” agreed. “I have a month now to show everybody what I’m all about. I’m a person who wants to give everything, every day, and this is the perfect place to be to learn more about the game. Hopefully that’s what I’ll do.
“I’ve had experience of this type of situation before because I was on loan, back in Switzerland, and the club I went to was in the same position at the foot of the table. I learned from that and hopefully I can use some of that experience to help me through my time here. I’m at a stage in my career now where I feel I need to be playing games and that’s what I’m here to do.”
Looking back at his move from Switzerland to West Ham, he said: “I came over for a trial for a week and they were really pleased. It’s been a great club for me and I’m now looking forward to playing competitive games at a good level.
“I found the first month over in England to be really tough. London is a great city but I’m not there for that. I’m there to focus on my football. I’d left my family behind and the pace of training almost killed me! But you know that if you train with good players you can only get better.
“I still have things to learn. It’s all about decision making with goalkeeping. That includes thinking about your starting position, when to come and when to stay, when to talk to the defenders and everything that goes with the job. If you get more of your decisions right you have a better chance of helping your team to win the game.”
And on how the journey into the game started for him, he said: “I was always one of the biggest at school. I think as with every keeper, I started as a striker. That obviously didn’t go too well and I ended up in goal, and that’s where I stayed.
“I’ve enjoyed learning about the position and playing for my country, but that’s gone now. It’s about the next step, gaining more experience and learning more about my role. Doing a good job here would be amazing. I’m going to give it everything. If we get points we will start a run, especially with the teams we are due to play now, and I want to be part of that.”
Looking ahead to the weekend, he said: “The game at Southend is about getting points.
“I’m looking forward to it because my family will be there. They come over when my little sister has time off, and it’s really nice. I’m looking forward to seeing them and to hopefully being able to help the team to a good result.”
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