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Hammers star upbeat over FA Cup draw

West Ham United goalkeeper Joe Hart admits he is beaming about the Hammers’ Emirates FA Cup third round draw away to Shrewsbury Town.

Hart was born and raised in Shrewsbury, and signed for their football team at the age of 14. At just 15 he was named on the substitutes’ bench in League Two, and was given his senior debut in 2004 when just 17.

Since then he has come on leaps and bounds, signing for Manchester City where he still remains officially despite being on loan to West Ham.

The England no.1 has fond memories of his time at Shrewsbury, and says he is really looking forward to his first competitive game against his boyhood club.

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Speaking on the Hammers’ official website, Hart said: “It’s the first time I’ll have gone back to Shrewsbury for a competitive game, so I’m really looking forward to it,” the 30-year-old confirmed.

“It’s a beautiful town and a nice place to live. We are kind of on the edge of everything in our own little world, but it’s a great place, full of proud people, and I have nothing but good things to say about Shrewsbury. It’s my home.

“It was nice to be involved in the first team from such a young age. They put me in the team when we were in non-league and we were just above the drop zone, when I was only 17 or 18, and we managed to stay up, which was good. They always had a lot of faith in me, which I really appreciated.

“Shrewsbury are doing pretty well this year, so I’m sure it’ll be a tough game for us.

“They moved into a new stadium and it took a while for them to get used to it, so they’ve had some ups and downs, but they’re flying high at the top of League One this season, so it’s looking good.

“The FA Cup is always a test, particularly away from home, whoever you are playing. Even if you go to a non-league club, it’ll be a big game and a hard one to win.

“I went to the game the last time they beat Premier League opposition in the FA Cup, which was Everton back in 2003. I was there, but obviously I hope the result is different this time around!”
[Quotes via WHUFC.com]