Flavour of family life tops menu for Ben Foster

Goalkeeping gourmet Ben Foster reckons he has found the recipe for more success at Albion.

Soccer - pre-season West Bromwich Albion training

Goalkeeping gourmet Ben Foster reckons he has found the recipe for more success at Albion.

The Baggies’ shot-stopping chef is relishing the new Premier League season after spending the summer cooking up plans for his future.

And the 29-year-old is confident putting down solid roots at a new family home complete with a purpose-built kitchen and barbecue shelter will help him maintain red-hot form for his new club.

Foster, who trained as a chef at Café Rouge in Leamington Spa before getting his big break in professional football, signed a long-term contract at The Hawthorns in the summer following an impressive season on loan with the Baggies.

And after ending his days as a goalkeeping nomad, Foster is enjoying the chance to plan for a stable future with his wife and two children, starting with a newly-built home in Henly-in-Arden.

“I am sorted out now,” said the former England man, who spent the summer house-hunting before opting to design his own.

“As long as I had a say on the kitchen and the cooking utensils that was fine by me.

“We’re really happy because it’s fairly close to the schools where the kids are going to, so it’s all great.

“It’s a brand new house that hasn’t even been built yet so I’m having a huge barbecue hut built on the side, which will be fantastic.

“I honestly didn’t care about the house or what it looks like. My wife can decorate how she wants  as long as I had a nice kitchen and a barbecue hut.

“It’s a shelter with a powerpoint for the fridge and a nice barbecue, so I’m happy.

“It’s a nice feeling to be settled, not just because I know where I’ll be playing football for the next few years but also from the family side of things.

“I make no secret that that is a really important part of my life.

“I want to know where my family is going to be situated with the kids going to school.

“The thought of moving my family around the country again just seems absurd now. I am 29 and getting to an age where I want to be settled somewhere I can stay for the remainder of my career and somewhere I can live after it as well.

“I have a lot of very close friends and family in the area who we spend a lot of time with and if you move two or three hours north or south you take them out of the equation.

“It does have a huge effect.”

Albion will kick off the Steve Clarke era tomorrow with a game against Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool at The Hawthorns.

And the ex-Manchester United man, who cost the Baggies £3.5m, believes the togetherness that served them well under former boss Roy Hodgson will remain a vital ingredient for success.

“I think the club have employed Steve because they know he’s a man who will be able to take over the reins and keep it going the way it’s going,” said Foster.

“We’re an established club now and you don’t see much headline-making from West Brom.

“We haven’t got any shining stars and there’s no-one that’s going to attract a £20m bid from anyone, but at the same time there’s no-one that’s going to cause a mad controversy on the pitch.

“We’re a calm and understated team who get on and work really hard.”