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Coufal dreaming of ‘perfect’ Prague final homecoming with West Ham

The Irons begin their group stage campaign at home to Romanian side FCSB on Thursday night, hoping to embark on another memorable European adventure following last season’s run to the semi-finals of the Europa League.

Reaching the final next June would be of particular personal significance to Coufal, who joined the Hammers from Slavia Prague two years ago.

“It would be perfect,” he said. “It’s not just my home country but also the stadium of my former club. It would be something amazing to reach the final but we need to work really hard.

“For me and Tomas [Soucek] it is special. We know the stadium, the country, the people. But it should be a big motivation for all of West Ham.

“Here is a chance to win a European competition. It is something special and we can be written into the club’s history again as winners of a European competition. It is something the fans would never forget.”

Coufal has become a key figure under David Moyes in his two seasons at the club and asked whether he had grown to love English beer or still plumped for his homeland’s produce, the full-back added: “When I am off season, of course on holiday, I prefer Czech beer because it is one of the best in the world. Everyone knows that.

“I think if we win the Europa Conference League, especially in Prague, I think I can invite some of the guys for a few beers, if the gaffer allows it.”

After coming so close in the Europa League last term, West Ham have enjoyed a taste of European success and despite starting the new season in Uefa’s third-tier competition, Moyes insists his side will be taking the tournament just as seriously – citing Jose Mourinho’s triumph with Roma in the inaugural edition as inspiration.

“We had a real good go at it last year and we celebrate it this year as well even though we are only in the Conference League,” Moyes said. “I watched the final last year, between Roma and Feyenoord, and it was an excellent game.

“If you look at Jose Mourinho – who has won all the competitions – how he considered how big he felt it. I would love to be in a position to win it as well.”

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