Terry Westley: “I never dreamed Dec would be this big!”

ClaretandHugh’s exclusive blogger – former academy director Terry Westley oversaw the development of our crown jewel and in this piece explains his feelings as the man he believes is our greatest product since Bobby Moore has developed over his very early years in the game.

Tel is talking to Hughie Southon

I’m going to be entirely honest with you – I really never expected this. What’s happened in Declan’s career until now is nothing short of totally remarkable.

I was only wondering last night during the England game and afterwards whether I could have believed he would have come this far and the answer is no.

Last night ne was clear man of the match and has been receiving congratulations messages from his England team-mates on social media all day long.

Declan is the most driven young man I’ve seen in the game. Once as an under 16 he joined the 18s he was never going back there and the same when he became an under 23 -he is an amazingly determined person where even the sky may not be the limit.

Now he’s our captain and WILL follow Bob as Three Lions skipper and  he is now Number two only to Mooro as our finest every academy produced youngster.

I’ll tell you this too he will be in the team for the summer international tournament whether or not Jordan Henderson is available!

Declan is very bright and knows too that he’s at the right club where he plays every week and understands that’s why he’s getting better and it’s why he won’t be going anywhere.

There’s no point – he knows West Ham is where he needs to be and there is no club that can afford the price on him anyway which has to be well in excess of £100 million.

Put it this way, Manchester United paid £90 million for Pogba. I think Declan is worth infinitely more than that – he has everything in his game.

The runs he is ,making forward don’t just happen. He’s been working on that for months and months. He and Tomas Soucek are helping each other, Declan is making him a bettter player and vice versa.

It’s thrilling for me to see one of my kids reach this point but my thanks too go to Dave Hunt who was head of recruitment when I started and brought him to the club.

Then there’s all the others who have inputted – Mark Phillips and Steve Potts along with so many others – he is an academy miracle so thanks to all the staff back there.

I see Declan going absolutely nowhere and if and when he does it could be for the biggest money we’ve seen in this country.

I love the kid but lucky West Ham eh?


About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

2 comments on “Terry Westley: “I never dreamed Dec would be this big!”

  1. Something I would personally like to ask Terry. Is does it not get his goat every time the media label Declan, or refer to him as a Chelsea academy product as if he never at West Ham until he played for the first team.

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