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Westley on rise and rise of the Academy kids

Rice 3Academy chief Terry Westley has put his first brick in West Ham’s first team wall…and could not be more delighted with his protege Declan Rice.

The 18 year old being freely tipped as the next big thing at the club now has a building job to do according to his mentor who speaking to ClaretandHugh declared: “If he has to slip into the back line I have absolutely no fears he can do the job.”

With Winston Reid set to be sidelined that looks more than likely and a run of games for the teenager now looks on as he bids to establish himself as a first team player.

neufvWestley said: “I was talking to him this afternoon and said that he had one – now he must set targets of two and then five. It’s all in his hands now and I’m delighted for him.

“I think he can do it – he’s made a great start and it will become easier as the team starts to in games, the same as any player.  I’m hopeful he’s going to get a run of games.”

Meanwhile, the start of the under 23s season has been in stark contrast to the first team and at lunchtime they came from behind to beat Tottenham 3-2 after going in two goals down at half time on the Spurs training ground.

Westley was delighted and relieved but reckons a dismal first half performance was probably down to the venue after performing and winning in front of two and a half thousand at Swindon.

He said: “Nathan Holland was outstanding and Josh Pask did great while Toni Martinez led the line really well  but Vashon Neufville (below right) was possibly man of the match. We got closer to Spurs in the second haf, went more direct and got our result.

“It’s been a great start to the season. My job is to get players into the first team and the first one has made it and we have had some great results as a group. Yes, I’m very pleased with the way things are going at the moment.”


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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

One comment on “Westley on rise and rise of the Academy kids

  1. We theoretically could have 4-5 U-23 in the first team squad before too long!
    Well done Westley!
    Well done Nathan Holland-with Arnie out for 3 week it could well be Holland or Haksa to fill in!

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