Scott Parker has been voted as 2009/10 Hammer of the Year by West Ham United
Scott Parker has retained his title as Hammer of the Year - sponsored by
Vantis - after winning the support of West Ham United supporters for the
second successive season.
The England midfielder has enjoyed a magnificent campaign for Gianfranco
Zola's side, producing a series of man of the match performances at home and
away. Parker, who is the first West Ham player to retain the award since
Julian Dicks in 1995/96 and 1996/97, also scored outstanding goals at
Chelsea and in the vital 3-2 Barclays Premier League victory over Wigan
Athletic last month. "It's been a fantastic season for me, personally," said
Parker. "We've had a lot of hard times as a team this year, but at the end
of it, I suppose we're still in the Premier League. "I know, at times this
year, we've probably not given you the sort of things you deserve but I
speak for the squad and the staff when I thank you all for your support. "I
want to thank the staff - Steve Clarke and Kevin Keen - for all the hard
work they've done, and also I want to thank the manager, Gianfranco Zola,
for having so much faith in me and giving me great belief."
Capped three times by his country, Parker's form has led to clamour for his
return to the national squad for this summer's FIFA World Cup in South
Africa. That form also saw him voted SBOBET Player of the Month on no fewer
than four occasions - in December, January, March and April.
Alessandro Diamanti was voted runner-up, smiling broadly as he received his
award to loud applause.
Parker capped a special night that also saw him win the Goal of the Season
award - sponsored by Floyd Investments - for his 30-yard screamer at
Stamford Bridge by scooping the Players' Player of the Year trophy. Before
being presented with his award, the midfielder listened intently as a
montage of comments from his team-mates was played on the big screens. "I'd
like to thank my fellow players because to hear those sorts of comments and
receive the votes from your own team-mates means a lot," he added. The
popular player was the pick of his team-mates to receive his third award of
the night - sponsored by Winged Boots.
A quartet of happy Hammers
The winners have been announced at the club's annual end of season awards
Zavon Hines, Julien Faubert, Carlton Cole and Alessandro Diamanti were all
recognised along with Scott Parker - who won a hat-trick of prizes - at the
2009/10 End of Season Gala Dinner at the London Hilton on Tuesday night.
Hines was voted Young Hammer of the Year, Faubert was the winner of the Best
Performance of the Season, Cole was the top scorer and Diamanti was the
runner-up in the main award of the night which, to no one's surprise, went
to Parker. Click here to read more about the 2009/10 Hammer of the Year.
The entire first-team squad were in attendance at the Park Lane venue, with
800 gathered guests in the Grand Ballroom having already been treated to a
performance by Stacey Solomon while hosting duties were performed by
comedian James Corden. Joint-chairman David Gold did the welcome speech,
while the night also honoured the 1980 FA Cup final team and Academy
Director Tony Carr.
whufc.com will have full coverage of all the award winners to come, while
there will be exclusive interviews on WHUTV including Robert Green
interviewing James Corden and all the main winners sharing their thoughts
immediately after claiming their honours.
* Young Hammer of the Year sponsored by Pubpals - Zavon Hines
* Goal of the Season sponsored by Floyd Investments - Scott Parker v Chelsea
* Top Goalscorer sponsored by Kinetics - Carlton Cole
* Best Individual Performance sponsored by Compass - Julien Faubert v Hull
* Players' Player sponsored by Winged Boots - Scott Parker
* Hammer of the Year sponsored by Vantis runner-up - Alessandro Diamanti
* Hammer of the Year sponsored by Vantis winner - Scott Parker
Testimonial ticket update
Tickets for Tony Carr's Testimonial will be on sale at the turnstiles on
Supporters planning to attend Tony Carr's Testimonial Match will be able to
buy tickets on the night. Tony Carr's Academy All-Stars will take on West
Ham United in an eagerly-anticipated fixture at the Boleyn Ground on
Wednesday, with kick-off at 7.45pm. More than 10,000 tickets have already
been sold for the game, with a host of current internationals expected to
turn out to celebrate Carr's 37 years of work within the Academy of
Football. Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, John Terry and Joe Cole are among
those who have agreed to pull on the claret and blue again in honour of the
man who helped to mould their exceptional careers. A special commemorative
matchday programme will be on sale at the Boleyn Ground, priced at £2,
featuring exclusive interviews with Tony Carr, Harry Redknapp, Ronnie Boyce,
Michael Carrick, Ferdinand, Lampard and Cole, among others. Fans who have
yet to purchase tickets for the big game can do so by entering the stadium
through cash turnstiles 0-4 for seats in the Sir Trevor Brooking Stand Lower
Tier. Tickets will be priced at £15 for adults and £7.50 for Over-65s, young
adult Academy members and all Under-16s.
Scholars sign up
West Ham United's 13 new first-year scholars are to sign for the next two
Academy Director Tony Carr has spoken of his excitement after 13 lucky
youngsters agreed to sign scholarship terms with West Ham United. All 13
signed their first two-year scholar contracts during as special ceremony
held at the Boleyn Ground. It was a fitting sign of the production line
rolling on just as the club prepares to honour Carr with his testimonial
match on Wednesday night.
England Under-17 striker Robert Hall, England U16 midfielders Matthias
Fanimo and Blair Turgott and Australian-born forward Dylan Tombides head a
crop of players Carr believes can have bright futures in the game. The
quartet have all graduated to the Hammers' U18 side this season, while all
13 have played their part in Paul Hilton's U16 team's success in the FA
Premier Academy League this term.
However, Carr is experienced enough to know that, without the necessary
combination of hard work, dedication and talent, the aspiring youngsters
will not follow in the footsteps of the dozens of Academy graduates who have
emerged before them.
"This group has had a very good schoolboy period and they have been a good
team for a long time already. Now they have got to take that to the
professional level as scholars.
"Of course, the most important thing is their ability, but it's also about a
lot of hard work. I am sure these 13 players have the character to take
their careers to the next stage.
"I don't want to set any targets for them all, but I do think they are a
good group and hopefully they can carry on through into their scholarships.
"They have created a great reputation for themselves as schoolboys and all
the other teams will be trying to beat them, so it is up to them to rise to
Carr offered his own assessment on the 13 players who will become first-year
scholars this summer:
Matthias Fanimo - Matthias has had a good season with the U16s and has also
played for England regularly at U16 level. He is a winger and is equally
happy playing on either flank. He has good pace and a good left foot.
Robert Hall - Robert is an England U17 striker who has scored a lot of goals
this season. He was promoted to the U18 squad very early in the season and
has done particularly well.
Declan Hunt - Declan is a tall midfield player who is a good ball-player and
he has also been integrated into the U18 squad after a good season with the
U16s. We hope he can take the next step and progress to the professional
Lamar Hurley - Lamar has played two or three times for the U18s already and
has done quite well. He is a versatile midfield player.
Jake Larkins - Jake is a goalkeeper. He is a local boy from Dagenham and is
a big favourite of our Academy goalkeeper coach Jerome John. We hope he can
continue improving over the next couple of years.
Kenzer Lee - Kenzer is a left centre-back who is a whole-hearted player. He
gives his all in every game he plays. He is already six-foot-plus and needs
to keep maturing and developing.
Danny Potts - Danny is the son of former West Ham United defender Steve
Potts and, like his Dad, he is a full-back. He has done very well this
season and has got stronger as it has gone on. He has a good left foot.
Jack Powell - Jack is a central midfield player and another local boy. He
has played well for the U16s this year and is a good ball-player with a fair
bit of pace.
Dylan Tombides - Dylan was born in Australia but he came to the UK a few
years ago and now lives in Chadwell Heath. He has been with us for a couple
of seasons and has scored loads of goals playing alongside Robert Hall.
Hopefully, he will continue his scoring rate for the U18s.
Blair Turgott - Blair is an England U16 international. He has done very well
playing on the right or left side of the midfield. He can run with the ball
and can beat players with ease. We think he has a bright future.
Dominic Vose - Dominic has been with us for the past two years, having
previously played for Fulham and Crystal Palace. He decided that West Ham
United was the club for him and he has done very well playing in the
midfield this year.
David Wootton - David is another goalkeeper and another who is highly
thought of by our Academy goalkeeper coach Jerome John. We hope he will
continue to develop and this could come by him being sent out on loan to
gain more experience next season.
Jake Young - Jake is a right-back like his older brother, the Aston Villa
and England defender Luke Young. He is another whole-hearted player and
likes to get forward when the opportunity arises.
Big night for 'Moose'
Ian 'Moose' Abrahams is looking forward to filling-in as stadium PA
announcer at Tony Carr's Testimonial
Lifelong West Ham United supporter and talkSPORT football reporter Ian
'Moose' Abrahams will see one of his dreams come true on Wednesday evening.
Moose, a regular contributor to the official matchday programme this season,
will assume the role of stadium PA announcer during Tony Carr's Testimonial
match at the Boleyn Ground. The Hammers supporter said he was delighted when
the Academy Director asked him to handle the microphone on his big night. "I
was hugely honoured to be asked by Tony to be involved in his Testimonial
match. I didn't even think Tony knew who I was, but he told me he listens to
talkSPORT, so that was a real thrill for me too. "As a West Ham fan, I used
to sit on the Chicken Run with my uncle and watch all the players come
through that Tony had developed in the Academy, and it will be fantastic to
see them all playing at the Boleyn Ground again. "The players who have come
through in the past 30 years have been second to none, and Tony should be
held up as a shining example of how to coach and develop young footballers.
"For me, announcing the names of the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Joe Cole and
Michael Carrick at the stadium I love will be something very special. I have
been lucky enough to be involved with the club this season writing for the
programme, and this will be another thrill for me. "I am hoping that loads
of fans turn out to celebrate Tony's career and also those of the players he
helped to produce - many of whom will of course be off to the World Cup with
England this summer."
Moose has been a regular visitor to the Boleyn Ground this season, reporting
on games and interviewing manager Gianfranco Zola and his players for radio
Earlier this year, the portly presenter and newsreader also took part in a
charity penalty shootout with Hammers goalkeeper Robert Green, planting
three of his five spot-kicks successfully past England's No1. On Wednesday,
however, Moose will be back to doing what he does best, reading out the team
lineups and keeping supporters updated with substitutions and other
announcements on what promises to be an unforgettable evening for everyone
Advance tickets for Tony Carr's Testimonial, priced from £15 for adults and
£7.50 for Over-65s and Under-16s, are available online, by calling 0871 222
2700 or in person from the West Stand ticket office. On Wednesday night
itself, tickets will be available from both the West Stand and Priory Road
ticket offices up until kick-off.
Carr reflects on weekend
Academy Director Tony Carr was disappointed with the nature of Saturday's
defeat at Southampton
Academy Director Tony Carr admitted that defensive errors, missed chances
and a lack of concentration had cost his side dear in Saturday's 4-2 FA
Premier Academy League defeat at Southampton. Jack Werndly scored twice for
West Ham United at the Saints' Staplewood Training Ground, but it was not
enough to prevent the home side from taking all three points. Carr was
disappointed with his team's all-round performance in what was their final
away fixture of an inconsistent season results-wise. "We went 1-0 down from
a Southampton corner when we should already have been two goals up, having
missed two good chances through Jack and Danny Subuola. "Matthias Fanimo did
some good work down the left and he crossed for Jack to equalise, but we
were behind again before half-time. They had a counter-attack and our two
centre-backs were very static and allowed their striker to nip in between
them to score. "It was very poor defending to put us 2-1 down at half-time.
We then conceded another goal shortly after the break before Jack scored
again to make it 3-2 and we then put them under some pressure.
Unfortunately, they then broke away again and made it 4-2 with virtually the
last kick of the game. "It was a really disappointing performance. Their
passing and movement caused our centre-backs Callum McNaughton and Paco
Craig all sorts of problems."
The West Ham squad had left Little Heath at 7.30am on Saturday, but Carr
refused to blame either the early start or 100-mile coach journey for his
team's defeat. "Maybe the trip can effect you at the beginning of the game,
but you quickly get into it, so I would never use that as an excuse."
The Hammers complete their FA Premier Academy League campaign with the visit
of fellow Group A side Charlton Athletic to Little Heath on Friday, with
kick-off at 12noon. Parking and admission are both free of charge. Victory
would see West Ham leapfrog Fulham to finish fifth in the ten-team table.
Arsenal have already wrapped up the title.
Filed: Tuesday, 4th May 2010
By: Staff Writer
Carlton Cole has claimed that speculation regarding the future of Gianfranco
Zola and his entire first team squad has affected performances. Co-chairman
David Sullivan was recently quoted as saying that the whole of Gianfranco
Zola's squad - bar Scott Parker - would be sold if the right offers came in
during the forthcoming summer transfer window. That, according to the
England World Cup hopeful has contributed to the team's erratic performances
of late - whilst he also admitted that he had no idea where he'd be playing
next season. "We've tried to get on with it but all the speculation over the
manager's future does trickle down to the players and it does affect us,"
Cole told The Guardian. "It's the same as in any job. If your top man, your
boss, doesn't feel secure, then obviously it sends the wrong message out to
the players. "We haven't been good enough and, hopefully, next season we
can put it right. But we need to regroup and start again. We have to do
better next season, that's the bottom line. It's been a bad season and we
want to just progress from that because it can't get any worse for us.
"Scott Parker's been brilliant and he's obviously the fans' favourite, so
there's no way they're going to be looking to sell him. But, with the rest,
I don't know what's going on. Everyone knows that we're in financial
difficulty and, if the right offer comes in for anybody, you can't really
turn it down. That's just football."
Cole - who has scored 10 goals from 31 appearances this season - two less
than his final tally for 2008/09 - stated that the current season had been a
'write off', adding: "I'd just like to apologise to everybody. I represent
West Ham. The players and the manager will tell you we're all sorry things
haven't worked out the way it was supposed to be this season. "We are
professional footballers and we did the job to stay up, but we just need to
push on now and forget about this season."
Tony Carr: Part Three
Filed: Tuesday, 4th May 2010
By: Staff Writer
© Knees up Mother Brown. Please note that this article is not to be
reproduced in full elsewhere without prior permission from KUMB.com.
KUMB.com: One of the things many people asked us to say was 'please thank
Tony for everything he has done for the club'.
Tony Carr: That's very nice. Very nice.
KUMB: Even though you're technically out of the limelight, many people
consider you to be 'Mr. West Ham' - because of your service, the players
you've brought through and the money you've earned the club. We've been
broke for about as long as I remember and you think how broke would we have
been if it wasn't for the players you've brought through?
TC: I feel very flattered that you've said that. I've been quite humbled
these last couple of weeks when I've been ringing round all the players, how
helpful they've been. They all want to be at my testimonial, they all want
to go. I spoke to Joe Cole yesterday and had a few commiserations for him
because of the way things are going at Chelsea. 'I'll be there, don't worry
about that'. Even John Terry; I spoke to John yesterday. He said 'yeah, I
won't ever forget my time at West Ham and thank you for everything you've
done and everything you stand for; I've got the utmost respect for you. I'll
definitely be there, I will be there'. He said 'even if they don't let me
play I will be there'. I was humbled by it all. Frank's the same, I rung Rio
on Monday - 'don't worry, I'll be there'.
KUMB: Is he going to play, Rio?
TC: Rio said to me 'I'm playing, aren't I?' and I said 'yeah you are, but
what does Fergie think?' He said 'he hasn't said anything. He said a couple
of weeks ago, if we beat Bayern Munich, it might be a bit iffy because it's
going to be a lot of games in a short space of time'. But he said 'we got
beat against Bayern Munich so as far as I'm concerned I can turn out'. So
that's good; I think this weekend's results will dictate that.
The good thing is they will all be there. The only one that, even if Alex
lets him play, is Michael [Carrick] whose wife Lisa is due at any minute.
The baby's due on the 4th. Now whether she goes overdue or Michel's prepared
to leave her I don't know, but I understand that.
KUMB: How has it been getting all the players together? A logistical
TC: It's been really tough. I'm not dramatising, I've had sleepless nights.
I'm not going to have enough players, now I've got too many players, you
know. The response had been unbelievable in terms of the ones that wanted to
play, everybody wanted to play. Stephen Bywater, he said 'I've just got
injured in training, I've done my ribs. I'm gutted'. I said 'why, because of
your games [you'll miss]?' and he said 'no, your game, I'm gutted I can't
play!' I said if you want to come down there'll be tickets for you, you'll
be more than welcome so he said he'd let me know. So yeah, hopefully it'll
be a good night.
The idea was that the big headliners would play and their intentions are
that they want to play. But failing that, they'll all be there with the
little rabbit in the hat being Paolo Di Canio. I persuaded Paolo to play.
His only criteria was 'I want to wear the number 10 shirt - the shirt's got
to be tight and it's got to be number 10!' So I said whatever you want, you
can have! So he's flying in from Rome just for my game, which is great.
Again, I'm humbled.
KUMB: Some people have questioned the timing of the game, Tony - it's a
little difficult for some being before the end of the season. Can you clear
TC: I was given this testimonial almost two years ago by the Icelandic board
and Scott Duxbury. Scott said, 'what we'll do is you can have it last game
before the season begins, in pre-season' - fantastic. He said 'we'll
organise it, we'll do it and we'll market it as your testimonial - you
haven't got to do anything'. Lovely - that for me would be the ideal
turnout. So he said 'we'll get a good foreign opposition so the first team
get a good workout'. About two months later we came back from pre-season and
he said 'you can't have that date'. I said 'why?' I can't remember the
reason he used but basically the reason was that they needed the gate money
for themselves, so I had to swallow that one.
KUMB: When was this, because it was supposed to be last summer? You had your
golf day a year or so ago?
TC: Yeah, it was last May. The game would have been in the August. So they
took that away and he [Duxbury] said 'you've got to find another date'. Now
I got my football calendar out and there wasn't another date, it was
absolutely impossible. Because you had the Champions League, the Europa
League, FA Cup replays, Carling Cup weeks then England weeks. Just
KUMB: Obviously the players you're looking to bring down are going to be
involved in all of those?
TC: All of those. And you're not going to get a visiting team at that time
because they're all playing in leagues around the world whether it's an
Italian team, French... They've all got their own [leagues], you're never
going to get a team. If I did get a team it would cost me an absolute
fortune to get them there. So I looked at it all, worked it out and there
was a couple of blank weeks. There was one in April and there was one in
May. I gambled on the fact that we'd be safe, the Championship would be won
and even if the teams were in the Champions League final - that's why I
didn't do it the week after the [end of the] season, because I guess you've
got the FA Cup final and there's a good chance that at least one of our
[teams] are going to be in the Champions League final.
It was originally May 4th then the club took it away from me because they
wanted the Hammer of the Year dinner, the end of season gala. So I had to go
for the 5th. I spoke to Franco and Clarkey and they said 'let's go for it.
We're up for it, we're happy to do it - let's go for it because there's
never going to be an ideal time'. So I just had to take the gamble and go
KUMB: Ticket sales are picking up now though and you're likely to get
thousands [turn up] on the night, don't you think?
TC: I hope so. It'd be nice for the fans to see the achievements of the
Academy. There's going to be a walk-on at half time of all the non-playing
members like Bobby Barnes, Paul Allen, Allan Dickens, Georgie Parris, Ray
Houghton; all those guys are coming on at half time. Then I've got 30
players that want to play in the game. 30! So there's going to be a lot of
chopping and changing! But I think that's going to be a good thing because
the more players on there the better.
KUMB: You were chatting to a player a few moments ago about insurance. When
you go to a testimonial like this you don't think of all the logistical
stuff that needs to be done?
TC: Oh, all the bits and bobs. This last month has been really, really
hectic. We've got to insure all the players - and that aint cheap. We've got
to insure them obviously, and I've got a blanket £3million on every player
but what about Rio, or Joe, or Frank?
KUMB: So you'll be telling everyone to take it a little bit easy!
TC: No tackling - not with them players anyway! So it's going to be a
celebration and an exhibition rather than anything full-blooded. It's going
to be a bit of fun.
KUMB: I was going to refer to Dicksy's testimonial; I think it was Paolo [Di
Canio] who got a bit heated in that?
TC: Did he? Oh he'll get heated whatever happens!
KUMB: So tickets are available on the door for people turning up on the
TC: Tickets are available on the night, that was a stipulation; I must have
that because the club only opened up all the lower tiers all the way round
because they didn't want to have pockets of fans if there wasn't the demand.
Rather we'd have a better atmosphere if we're all together. But obviously on
the night if we do get another youth cup night and there's more than
anticipated, more of the ground will be open. I should add a special thank
you to my sponsor, Ricoh AltoDigital and James Abrahart who set it up for
KUMB: A few more general questions from our readers, Tony. By what sort of
age does a player need to be showing significant ability to make it as a
TC: For a late developer, up to 14, 15 - if he's got a given talent.
KUMB: Do you see many at that age?
TC: You do, they come in from time to time and we do take them on, it's not
KUMB: Anyone in the squad the moment like that?
TC: Well Zavon Hines came in very late to the system, he came at 14. So he
was one. I thought he was a breath of fresh air when he went in the first
team this year. His enthusiasm, his desire. The Villa game, a fantastic goal
- terrific. It's a shame he's had that knee problem.
KUMB: How is it Tony?
TC: It's a serious knee injury and he's going to be lucky if he's fit for
pre-season. So beyond 16 I think you're pushing it but up to 15, I think
there's a chance.
KUMB: Harry Redknapp was a keen exponent of the loan system during his time
here and Jermain [Defoe] went down to Bournemouth and broke that 80-year-old
league record. What do you make of loaning out the youngsters? Do you think
it benefits them or do you think they are better off working here under you
in this environment?
TC: It depends how young but if they're good enough to go out on loan, I
think they should. I think it's good for them. I'm not a lover of them going
on a season-long loan, I think it should be maximum to Christmas or from
Christmas to the end [of the season] - because you tend to lose touch with
the player a little bit, and in some respects the player could enjoy it more
at the club he's at than the club he's from. That's a danger in terms of
maybe losing a player so I've got reservations there. But if they're good
enough I think they should be exposed to league football.
KUMB: How about foreign clubs? Would you consider sending players there on
TC: Well Tony Stokes went out to Hungary [Ujpest FC]. He was here the other
day; he's playing next Wednesday, he's going to have a little run-out,
Stokesy. He's back in the country; I think he's coming back, it hasn't quite
worked out for him out there. But you've got to look at the player and look
at the club. My personal opinion is that I don't think Freddie Sears should
have gone to Palace, I think it was the wrong club for him. I had no choice
in the matter, the player has the last decision anyway. And I'd say that to
Freddie, I'd say that to him - I think there were other clubs in the queue
that would have been better for his football development. But that's neither
here nor there.
KUMB: How's Freddie getting on? Obviously he burst onto the scene when he
scored that goal against Blackburn having scored what, 30 goals that year in
TC: The goals have dried up, I can't put my finger on it. I don't know, I
really don't know. Like everything else I think getting into the team is all
about having that opportunity and the timing is key. Maybe, just maybe, even
though he scored the winner that day the timing could have been too early
KUMB: There was a lot of stuff in the media about him.
TC: Yeah; he was going to be the next Cottee, he was going to do this and so
and so. He is a goalscorer but they've just dried up. I just hope he can
start again next season and start afresh.
KUMB: Do you think there are going to be more academies like this set up
abroad in the near future as clubs look for the next big star? You've
obviously been working in the States.
TC: We've been trying to make some inroads there, trying to build some
relationships with clubs in the States. But it's as much building up the
name and the brand as it is recruitment because of passport and nationality
issues. But certainly, most of the big clubs, Barcelona and clubs like that,
they've got a tested youth policy. The beauty for them is that they can get
the kids out every afternoon of the week. By three o'clock in the afternoon
they're out on the training ground because of the way the school system
works there - they leave school at two o'clock, half-past-two so they can
get to their clubs every day by three o'clock. There's no sport in most of
the schools in Europe or a lot of the schools, I believe. Certainly
football, so they play their football at their club. I'd like to see that
develop in the future here so the boys, especially if they're gifted and
talented can get out of school on a regular basis and train every day. We'll
certainly make inroads then, big inroads into the myth that we're not as
technically gifted as the Europeans.
KUMB: You think that's a myth?
TC: A lot of it is. I think they're developed differently and they're a bit
more 'game savvy', they've got a bit more game intelligence. But I would say
technically, apart from the Messis and so on I think we stand up to them for
the most part.
KUMB: This is something that Trevor Brooking is working on; do you speak
much with Trevor?
TC: I speak to Trevor when I bump into him or see him at FA things and
various stuff. But we don't go into the game too deeply, that's his role and
I get on with my role.
KUMB: It's interesting that you mention schools; Watford had a tie-in with
local schools, I don't know if it's still going.
TC: Yeah I think a few clubs tried that. My worry with that is that if you
bring all your boys that are at our Academy and put them in St Edwards
School, for instance, just on the other side of the training ground, it
starts to make them a little bit elitist all in one school and I think it
creates issues within the school. It really does. So I think it's better if
they all stay at the school they're at and we just get them here earlier
every day. They have a special dispensation because they're talented and
gifted and we can get them out to try and improve their prospects for the
future, to be a player.
KUMB: What sort of age do you them in here from, Tony?
TC: Well we get trialists at six and seven but we start to sign them at
eight, for the under nine team. It's a one-season registration and then roll
it on if they progress. Up to 12 is one year; 12 to 14 is two years and
14-16 is two years. At 16 it's a two-year scholarship and a pro contract
etcetera etcetera if they're good enough.
KUMB: Do you find it's a bit like a meat market?
TC: Well I think all professions are, you know. You've just got to look at
the TV now, to give an analogy, the talent shows. They're going to get voted
out, there's only one girl going to win the show, there's only one act going
to win Britain's Got Talent, there's only one act who's going to win this.
So all the others are fodder. I don't mean to put it in those terms but only
the best two or three per cent are going to play in the Premier League, or
top-level football. But we like to think we filter a lot of the players down
into other leagues.
KUMB: You mentioned only two to three per cent are actually going to make it
so it's important then that the kids [keep studying]?
TC: What you would do is go into partnership with the school, because we've
got a full time education officer so that education of that player doesn't
suffer. It's just adjusting and then perhaps training when he's fresher at
three o'clock to five o'clock, then from five o'clock to six o'clock we sit
them down in here or in a classroom of sorts and say 'right, now let's do
your homework'. He does his homework, leaves here at six, six-thirty and
he's done his day's training, his done his homework and he's done his school
work. I wouldn't even begin to think we ignore the education, it's got to go
together with the football because as we said, 95 per cent will be lost to
the game later on.
KUMB: Which player, out of those you've released is the one you'd wished you
kept? Anyone that sticks out?
TC: When I say we miss I mean the club, Ray Houghton is the obvious one.
That was John Lyall's decision, John released him.
KUMB: Did you agree at the time?
TC: I wasn't consulted, I wasn't senior enough then to be consulted. I
remember Ernie Gregory trying to stick up for him, saying we should keep him
at the time. But John was adamant that a young Alan Dickens was going to
come through and be the next best thing. Obviously that didn't materialise
and Ray went on to have a glittering career. There's not many we've let go
that I've regretted - maybe Freddy Eastwood went a little bit too hastily
but that was his choice, he wanted to leave. He was playing very poorly, his
attitude was poor at the time and I said to him 'if you want to leave,
leave. When do you want to leave?' He said 'today'. That was his words to
me, 'I want to leave now'.
KUMB: He ended up at Grays, didn't he?
TC: He didn't do anything for about a year, didn't do a thing. Then Jimmy
Hampson saw his dad and said 'what's Freddy doing?', and he said 'nothing'.
Jimmy said 'he should be playing, he can score goals, he should be playing'
and helped get him to Grays where he scored goals, went to Southend and did
very well so good luck to him. He's coming back next week. I'm pleased for
him; he was immature, he was frustrating and he didn't want to stay and at
that time he didn't look as if he was going to do anything because he'd lost
his motivation. So I said 'if you want to go, go' - so off he went. But
looking back, maybe I should have been a bit more sympathetic or patient.
KUMB: He's at Coventry now? How's he doing?
TC: He's been a bit indifferent, scored goals, been in the team and out of
the team. But he's a good young lad and he can score goals.
KUMB: Of all those players you've mentored which one gives you most
satisfaction, in terms of seeing the fruits of your labour come through?
TC: It's a difficult one, that. The Sun asked me the other day 'give me a
one, two, three', and I answered probably Rio, Frank and Joe. And then you
go Michael Carrick was a top player, Glen Johnson I've got a lot of
admiration for as we've nurtured him from nine-years-of-age right through.
Jermain Defoe less so because he came here from Charlton but still a great
player for us in terms of his goalscoring. Michael; quiet, got on with his
work, did his work and developed under the shadow of some of the other big
KUMB: How did that come about with Michael?
TC: That was before the Academy system was actually put in place. He came
from Newcastle, played for Wallsend Boys Club. We had a scout up there who
said 'we've got a good young player here, can you have a look at him'. So he
brought him down, liked him and we kept inviting him down every holiday.
Eventually he became affiliated to West Ham and signed for us, that was it.
KUMB: Would you be able to do that now?
TC: Can't do that now.
KUMB: You've got to be within an hour or so?
TC: Well you've got to move them. Kieron Richardson, Manchester United moved
him to Manchester. It's an AA route system, you put the address in, the two
post codes in, go on Route Finder and it tells you the time and distance.
That's what the Premier League use.
KUMB: What's happening with Chelsea at the moment, there seems to be a lot
of movement in Essex?
TC: Well I think they're just expanding. They've got the money, they've got
the staff; they're just trying to paint every area blue. As long as they're
within an hour away they can go wherever they want.
KUMB: Yet this is fertile West Ham land?
TC: We can't stop it. Tottenham, Arsenal, they've always worked in this area
but we can't stop it, we've got no divine right to say 'those boys who go to
that school are ours'. There's every chance that a boy in that school could
be training with Chelsea.
KUMB: But the biggest factor in your favour is that you can go to kids and
say 'look, come to West Ham and the chances are you could be playing in the
first team by 19 if you're good enough'.
TC: Yeah, and there's the evidence.
Upson keen to grasp chance
Defender excited about finals
Last updated: 4th May 2010
West Ham defender Matt Upson admits this summer's World Cup finals is likely
to be his last chance of playing on the world's greatest stage. Upson is
hoping to be named in England's squad for South Africa after becoming a
fixture in Fabio Capello's plans. The 31-year-old is happy with how he has
done with England and he is excited at the prospect of playing in such a big
tournament as the World Cup. "Now I look at my recent England situation and
I'm pretty pleased," Upson told the Daily Star. "I've played several games
and helped the team when I have come on. "I'm happy with that. This is
probably my last chance to play in a World Cup. "Realistically it's going
to be difficult to be performing at that level when I'm 35. So I'm 100 per
cent determined to make it count. "It has been a difficult time with West
Ham this season. "It's definitely a lot harder to impress than if the
team's performing well - and I don't think I'm in the best form of my
career. "But I think I've got another level to offer and I want to be a
part of the World Cup now.
"I can already feel the excitement building."
Hammers in Olympic battle
WEST HAM must battle American entertainment giants AEG to take over the
Olympic Stadium. The Irons said they provided the only viable option to
convert the 80,000-seater London 2012 venue. Yet AEG, owners of the O2
Arena, have now registered their interest.
Stars cry of on Hammer Carr
By IAN McGARRY
TITLE rivals Chelsea and Manchester United have banned stars from a
testimonial game tonight. Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, John Terry, Rio Ferdinand
and Michael Carrick were all due to play at Upton Park in a game to honour
Academy director, Tony Carr, for his 35 years of service. Each of the
players has been coached by Carr and they accepted an invitation to play in
an Old Boys XI. But with the title's destiny to be decided on Sunday, both
Carlo Ancelotti and Alex Ferguson have pulled the plug.
Zola facing sack 24 hours after season ends - Exclusive
Published 23:00 04/05/10 By James Nursey
Gianfranco Zola's West Ham future will be decided just 24 hours after the
season ends as the club continue to line-up potential successors. Joint
Hammers chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold have scheduled a meeting with
Zola for Monday. The Essex-based businessmen and former Birmingham owners
have always held end-of-season debriefs with their managers. But the pair
have this time arranged the crunch talks the day after West Ham's last
Premier League game at home to Manchester City on Sunday.
Sources close to the West Ham owners insist no final decision has yet been
made on Zola. But the Italian, in charge since September 2008, is expected
to either resign from the Upton Park hot-seat or be sacked. Neither Sullivan
nor Gold have been hugely impressed with Zola since gaining power in January
in a £50million takeover. The cash-strapped club, whose debts are £90m, have
only just survived with 34 points. Sullivan and Gold already have a
short-list of replacements including Avram Grant, Slaven Bilic and Martin
Jol. But ex-England boss Steve McClaren been removed as a potential
candidate after guiding FC Twente to the Dutch title. McClaren had been
sounded out about possibly succeeding Zola at West Ham but has now decided
to remain abroad. And McClaren is being heavily tipped to take charge of
last season's German champions Wolfsburg instead.
Bellamy: West Ham strike stories were rubbish - Exclusive
Published 23:00 04/05/10 By Oliver Holt
Craig Bellamy last night ridiculed the idea he went on strike to force his
exit from West Ham last season. Bellamy knows he may be in for a rough ride
in the East End on Sunday when he goes back to the club with Manchester City
for a game that could decide whether City finish in the top four. But he
said that far from being desperate to leave Upton Park in January last year,
he loved the club and had offered to sign a new contract. "I was enjoying it
at West Ham and Gianfranco Zola had woken me up again in terms of my
football," Bellamy said. "I adore they guy and I was really happy where I
was but I was being auctioned off to City and Spurs. "The way I left still
aggravates me because it is one of the happiest periods I have ever had in
football and it is a really special club. "Having played for West Ham is one
of the things that Carlos Tevez and I talk about. It's the first result we
both look for every weekend. "I'm not likely to play now for any other
English club in my career but if I did, I'd like it to be West Ham. "I know
the fans probably won't give me a great reception on Sunday and I don't
blame them. "If you thought that a player went on strike to leave your club,
I wouldn't expect fans to be too happy with that. But the truth is that
never happened. "I was told to go home to Cardiff because the Man City deal
was done and the clubs were ironing out the final details. "City were
playing Wigan on the Saturday and West Ham were playing Fulham. I was told
to stay in Cardiff. "Then a paper came out and said I had gone on strike and
had stormed out of West Ham. The thing that angered me most was the idea
that people might think I would do that to Gianfranco Zola. "Franco was the
first person to ring me up when I scored my first goal for City. Do you
think he'd do that if I'd walked out on him?"
West Ham step up chase for Graham Dorrans with £5m bid for West Brom
By Sportsmail Reporter Last updated at 1:06 AM on 5th May 2010
West Ham are preparing to make an improved bid of £5m for West Brom
midfielder Graham Dorrans - despite Albion valuing him at £10m. West Ham
are prepared to hand the 22-year-old a four-year £30,000-a-week deal, which
they hope will turn the player's head.
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