Exciting Hammer Nathan Holland has been named 2019/20 Young Hammer of the Year after an amazing season.
The 22 year old made his first competitive West Ham United start in September against Oxford United and his Premier League debut against Wolverhampton Wanderers in December.
But beyond that he finished up as the Under 23s top scorer in Premier League 2 Division 2, clocking up 14 goals and eight assists in just 18 appearances.
During the second half of the season, he went on to enjoy an impressive loan spell at League One side Oxford, where he made his Football League debut and recorded an additional three goals in 12 senior appearances.
Holland’s season was also recently recognised with a nomination for the 2019/20 Premier League 2 Player of the Season award, having won the Premier League 2 Player of the Month trophy in November.
“It’s brilliant,” Holland told West Ham TV. “I’ve achieved quite a few good things this year, so to get a personal achievement like this to end it off is really good.
“It’s kind of all just flowed together quite nicely. I’ve just been working hard, training well and playing well, and to get rewarded for that with my Premier League debut was just brilliant.
“It’s something you work towards for a long time, so to actually come on and be part of that was a really special moment for me.
“Looking at all the former Young Hammer of the Year winners, they’ve all done really well. To see Declan Rice doing what he’s doing now, and to have worked under Jack Collison, it’s good to be associated with those names, and hopefully I can go on to achieve great things.
“I’d just like to thank my coaches for helping me and Ricky Martin, all my teammates, my Mum and my agent. Everyone’s been really good to me this season, so hopefully I can kick on now.”
Academy Manager Ricky Martin added: “Nathan is a fully deserving winner; he’s had his opportunity to play in the first team at Wolves, he went away on loan, and on top of that he’s been a really strong performer with the U23s.
“He’s had an amazing impact with what he’s done in U23s football, but now he’s got to make that step into senior football. He did that when he went on loan to Oxford with his performances and goals and he played a big part in getting them into the Play-Offs.
“Nathan now comes back and has got to fight his way into the first-team squad. We’re there to support him and hopefully he keeps going, keeps training hard, keeps playing well – and he’ll have a good chance of getting his full debut this season.
“There were also other players we considered who have pushed him for winning it, so the future here looks very bright.”
ClaretandHugh says: Nathan has been predicted as the next big Hammers prospect for two or three years now but has had only the most limited of chances to display what he’s all about at. It was understandable that in the resumed season he was kept very firmly on the sidelines. The last thing a youngster requires is a relegation battle after a season . But we should all surely want to believe that the tricky winger can find himself permanently into the squad – the obvious question arises very quickly: What else has he got to do to get the chance. In a season when we are looking at every alternative to big money signings the likes of Nathan and his under 23 colleagues, Conor Coventry and Xande Silva look set to – at the very least – come into more serious consideration than in previous campaigns.