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Westley wow factor as kids hit the Premier League

To explain that Terry Westley is a proud man right now is perhaps putting things a tad modestly – the man is over the moon at the progress being made by the youngsters under his charge towards the first team squad .

And Terry – a regular visitor to ClaretandHugh – has now spoken, this time to the official site, of his feelings as he sees the club again becoming a real academy of football again.

He said: “I think it’s a proud moment for everybody at the Club. One of the reasons I came here initially was because West Ham United is known for its home-grown players and since Mark Noble, Jack Collison and James Tomkins, there has been a gap.

“Before that, the work being done was outstanding and to get that amount of players through the system was fantastic, but that was a different era and it’s very challenging now with other clubs wanting to take your players and the sums of money we’re now talking about.

“So, to actually have a game where you have three Academy products on the pitch at the end in a Premier League game and the manager trusting them is massive.

We have the captain, who has obviously been here a long time and also helps looks after the young ones and is an ambassador, and Declan Rice, who is not yet established in the team but the manager trusts that he can do a job and he put him into high-profile, tense situations against Southampton and Chelsea.

“Then, with ten minutes to go, to say to Josh Cullen ‘Go on, tidy things up in the middle of the pitch and help us wrap things up’ is a great endorsement of everybody here at the Academy.

“Maybe it’s coming back? That’s what is leaving a smile on my face. Maybe we’re getting back to something that this Club ought to be and underneath that, to be able to get the type of results we’ve got in the last two games at Under-23 level against Manchester City and Everton was fantastic.

“We shouldn’t be able to compete with Manchester City at youth level, because of the vast sums they’ve got, and we had three Under-18s on the pitch that night. Then, to go to Everton and win 4-0, again with three different Under-18s on the pitch, really gives me some hope for next season and the years to follow.”

 

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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

3 comments on “Westley wow factor as kids hit the Premier League

  1. Junior Stanislas and Zavon Hines also came through but under Allardyce a lot of ” flair” players were shown the door, the development squad suffered relegation and morale sapped out of them as their paths were blocked for a more pragmatic approach that bored us all to tears.

    • Look I’m not a fan of Allardyce but this constant obsession with him releasing youngsters is absolutely pathetic. Bar Stanislas who plays a fair bit for Bournemouth, how many of the youngsters released under BFS have done anything?
      You mention Zavon Hines – you only have to look at his career since leaving to see whether or not he was good enough to play for West Ham.
      Others like Elliot Lee, George Moncur, Turgott, Potts are all playing in League 2 or below. You cannot honestly think they would have made the step up

  2. I only mentioned it as it was true, have a look at the profile and type of player that was released, or read an article from John Moncur about that period of four seasons of non development of youngsters. I understand the former managers rationale, but he did stifle creativity, big time. Certain coaches have the knack of immersing up and coming talent with nurturers within a group ie, Curbishley and Day, followed by Zola and Clarke two separate coaching set ups that really tried to keep bring our youngsters through. We all know what happened when Grant and then Allardyce were at the helm.

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