Hammers Academy player ready for first team


DeclanAcademy Director Terry Westly believes a number of his youngsters are now ready for the Premier League next season with a particular focus on young centre-back Declan Rice who he believes will be the next Academy product to break through as a regular Hammers first teamer.

In March this year, the Under 23 captain, Declan Rice signed a new contract with the Hammers – putting pen-to-paper on a three-and-a-half year contract which will keep him at the London Stadium until June 2020.

The 18-year-old former Chelsea star has impressed at every level of West Ham’s Academy since joining the club four years ago winning the Dylan Tombides award last season and the Young Hammer of the year award this week. He captained his team through a Premier League¬†play-off semi to reach¬†a play-off final against Newcastle next Tuesday.

His performances haven’t gone unnoticed and Slav called him up to the first-team squad for the Premier League games against Sunderland and Everton. He remained on the bench but enjoyed the experience.

Although fellow Academy centre back Reece Oxford experienced some first team action for the Hammers last season the last Academy product to break through to become a regular first teamer was James Tomkins in 2008.

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I am Season Ticket Holder in West stand lower at the London Stadium and before that, I used to stand in the Sir Trevor Brooking Lower Row R seat 159 in the Boleyn Ground and in the Eighties I stood on the terraces of the old South Bank. I am a presenter on the West Ham Podcast called A Blogger on a member of the West Ham Supporters Advisory Board (SAB), Founder of a Youtube channel called Mr West Ham Football at,

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  • essexirons says:

    That is an appalling record for youth players breaking through, no one since Tonks. I’m surprised any talented youngster sign for us. Saying that not many have left & gone on to make it else where. Stanislas is the only one in the PL i can think of but tbh I doubt he would get in to many other sides starting 11.
    Maybe next season will be different……….

  • Hammer64 says:

    Nearly ten years! Yes Essex ‘appalling’ is the word I was searching for.

  • Noble broke through in 2004, Collison in 2007 and Tomkins in 2008

    Zavon Hines also broke through in 2007 but also played 22 times

    and Junior Stanislas also broke through in 2008 and played 45 times.

    Still nothing for nine long years though

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