Filed: Thursday, 28th June 2012
By: Staff Writer
Reserve goalkeeper Marek Stech has left West Ham 'by mutual consent', according to David Gold.
The West Ham United co-chairman, speaking via Twitter this lunchtime confirmed that the 22-year-old goalkeeper, who had been with West Ham since joining from Sparta Prague in 2006 had left the club.
Once hailed as 'the next Petr Cech', the 6'3" shot-stopper made just three appearances for the first team during his time at the club - all of which came in the League Cup.
In March 2009, having slipped behind Peter Kurucz in the goalkeeping pecking-order, he was shipped off to Wycombe on loan for the remainder fo the 2008/09 campaign, but made just two appearances - a draw against Brentford and a 1-0 defeat at home to Rochdale - before returning to London.
The former Czech under 19 international's next taste of first team action came at Bournemouth who he joined on an emergency weeks' loan in December 2009. However it was a week to forget as the Cherries went down 5-0 at Morecambe in a League Two encounter.
The following season - 2010/11 - Stech finally made his first team debut for West Ham in the Second Round 1-0 defeat of Oxford, a game won courtesy of Scott Parker's 90th-minute strike.
He was to retain his place in the side for both the third and fourth round ties against Sunderland and Stoke, which the Hammers won 2-1 and 3-1 respectively, although Rob Green took over goalkeeping duties for the quarter final meeting with Manchester United (4-0) and the two-legged semi final against Birmingham City (2-1, 1-3).
Only last summer Stech still harboured high hopes of eventually becoming West Ham's number one. Speaking in an interview with Czech website Pravo, recorded following West Ham's relegation from the Premier League, he said:"I am full of optimism. For me it's advantageous that we're not among the elite as I have a better chance.
"In the reserve games I've played well and pushed [Rob] Green in training. He had an operation and problems plagued him after the treatment of pain. It was almost my time, but I just didn't get a chance."
However his chances were to be limited even further during the campaign as the result of a contractual issue that is thought to have prevented him from being made available for selection. It was rumoured that after five first team outings, Stech's former club Sparta would be due an additional payment of £750,000 - something that West Ham were not prepared to pay.
As a result he once again spent much of the season kicking his heels in frustration, making the occasional appearance for Ian Hendon's Development Squad before joining both Yeovil - for whom he made five appearances - and League One side Leyton Orient - just two - on short-terms loans.
West Ham sign a third 'keeper [23rd Jul 2012]
Somer-Stech [5th Jul 2012]
Fred's dead, baby [29th Jun 2012]
Stech joins the exodus [28th Jun 2012]
Stech joins Os [24th Feb 2012]
Green facing one match ban [21st Feb 2012]
'Keeper returns [14th Nov 2011]
Czech out [14th Oct 2011]
Stech on trial [27th Sep 2011]
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