Friday, March 7

Daily WHUFC News - 7th March 2014

Hammers meet Stadium apprentices
James Tomkins and George McCartney visited the Stadium to celebrate National
Apprenticeship Week

With National Apprenticeship Week in full swing, West Ham United duo James
Tomkins and George McCartney visited the Stadium at Queen Elizabeth Olympic
Park to pay a personal thanks to the apprentices helping to convert their
future home. West Ham United, the London Legacy Development Corporation and
Newham Council continue to work closely on ensuring there is an enduring
Olympic legacy for east London and are delighted that hard-working, local
youngsters are benefitting from the arena's conversion into a UEFA Category
4 Footbal Stadium. The first two of many Imtech apprentices began work in
January 2014 and are due to see the high-profile project through to its
completion, when the Hammers take up occupancy in summer 2016. In line with
Imtech's extensive engineering expertise, 18-year-old George Skuce and
20-year-old Mohamed Mohamed will concentrate on wiring and pipework,
latterly setting their sights on field-of-play lighting and scoring systems.

For the time being, however, it is all systems go on a state-of-the-art home
dressing room, with the apprentices clearing the way for the new and
elaborate fit-out.
The Hammers' matchday facility will rival, if not exceed that of any other
Premier League club. The spacious main dressing room area is to be
configured in a horseshoe shape, with players able to use massage and
activation equipment rooms without leaving the changing room. The squad will
also have access to the Stadium's indoor running track to enhance their
pre-match activity. Hot and cold plunge recovery pools, an in-house medical
room and a designated analysis space are all to feature, plans befitting a
world-class football venue.
Olympic Stadium apprentices
Tomkins and McCartney present the apprentices with Hammers shirts
Skuce has an added incentive to ensure his work of the highest standard as,
like many east Londoners, he is a lifelong Hammers fan. The teenager, who
hails from Canning Town, studied electrical engineering at college and is in
little doubt that his decision to undertake an apprenticeship was the right
"The West Ham link was everything to me, knowing that I was coming to a
company that was transforming the Stadium for my home Club," he confirmed.
"I've been brought up with West Ham, supporting them from day one, so to be
here with an electrical company as well, which is what I'd always wanted to
do, is pretty amazing.
"University just wasn't for me. It didn't appeal and as an apprentice I
wanted to be working while earning, so it made perfect sense really.
"I'll be over here for the majority of games and I'll be able to say, I put
that up and I've walked the players round the dressing room. It's definitely
something that I'll look back on with pride over the coming years."
To date, upward of 60 apprentices have played a part in the creation of
London's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, 16 of whom have already been
supported into permanent employment both on and off the Park. At their peak,
95 per cent of apprentices were from the local area, such is the desire to
support those in the Stadium's immediate surroundings.
West Ham United Vice-Chairman Karren Brady said: "We always promised that
West Ham United's move to the Stadium would create hundreds of jobs for
local people and the fact that the Stadium's stunning conversion is already
transforming young lives is something that we are very proud of. As a Club,
we're committed to making the Stadium accessible to all and youth employment
is an integral part of that.
"It is no surprise that many of those working on the Stadium conversion are
West Ham United fans as this is very much our community. I am personally
delighted that fans like George are working on the project as they will be
able to see first-hand the time, effort and meticulous detail that the Club
with our partners put into planning for the conversion to make sure West Ham
fans have an unrivalled matchday experience from the very moment we kick-off
our first game there in 2016."
Dennis Hone, Chief Executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation,
said: "So many successful careers have already been created as a result of
the apprenticeship programme at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. I am thrilled
to see these young people begin on that same road with their important work
transforming the Stadium.
"With the opening of the Park on 5 April getting ever nearer, there are
still plenty of opportunities for local young people to get involved in
apprenticeships at the Park. I hope George and Mohamed enjoy their time
working on such an iconic legacy of the Games and wish them every success
with their future careers."
Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales, said: "We are delighted that George and
Mohamed are doing such a great job. Newham is committed to ensuring a
lasting legacy for the Stadium that will enable us to support residents into
jobs in such an inspirational place. Newham Council's employment service
Workplace was actively involved with the recruitment of Newham candidates
for these roles and continues to work with employers to find opportunities
for young people to earn money while training with experienced staff and
gain nationally recognised qualifications relevant to their jobs. I urge
more employers to consider how hiring an apprentice could benefit their
Senior Imtech project manager Paul Leighton, who has been working on the
Stadium transformation since August 2013, reiterated Imtech's commitment to
the apprenticeship philosophy, having begun his own career in much the same
"The apprenticeship scheme is really important to us," Mr Leighton
explained. "Both our Managing Director and I began our careers as
apprentices, so we put a lot of stock in our apprenticeship scheme and
across the UK Imtech take on at least 30 a year. A large proportion of our
management teams are former apprentices and it has stood us in really good
"The feedback on George and Mohamed so far is really good from the guys on
site, they're a doing a great job. We undertake a lot of projects in and
around London, so as long as they meet our standards their future careers
with us are looking good at the end of their training. Investing in
apprenticeships works out really well for everybody, we believe in the
apprenticeship programme and the benefit it brings to the individuals and
Nicholas Pollard, Balfour Beatty Construction Services UK Chief Executive
Officer, said: "I know that the future of our industry depends on finding
and investing in the next generation of engineers, project managers and
skilled trades. We are committed to ensuring that five percent of our
workforce is apprentices, graduates or sponsored students within five years
so that we can maintain the highest quality workforce right here in the UK."

Jussi happy with second best
Filed: Thursday, 6th March 2014
By: Staff Writer

Jussi Jaaskelainen says that he is happy being on the bench - as long as it
means West Ham are performing well. The veteran Finn, who is 39 next month
lost his place in the first team to Spanish 'keeper Adrian at Christmas,
since when he has endured a frustrating spell on the sidelines as the player
who began the season as his deputy continues to keep him out of the team.
However the 6'3" stopper maintains he is happy for that scenario to continue
- should the Hammers continue their rise up the table. "We have turned the
season around but we need to keep going and try to finish as high as we
possibly can," he told "Things have gone against us a little bit
in certain parts of the season but we've really bounced back, so hopefully
we can finish high and can build on two successful seasons in the coming
years. "I am just trying to work as hard as I can and to support Adrian in
every possible way. It's about how we finish the season as a team, not as
individuals. If I get one more chance I will try to to grab it and keep the
shirt as long as I can. "That's why I keep working hard, because you never
know what is happening in the future in football."

Jaaskelainen has appeared 19 times for West Ham this season but only once
since New Years' Day - that coming in the 3-0 home defeat to Manchester City
in the second leg of the Capital One Cup semi final back on January 21.
Since becoming a permanent fixture between the sticks at the turn of the
year, Adrian has made eight Premier League appearances - five of which have
resulted in a clear sheet. During that period, the opposition have managed
to score more than once on a sole occasion (the 3-1 home defeat to

Collison staying focused
Filed: Thursday, 6th March 2014
By: Staff Writer

Jack Collison says he intends to continue to fight for a place in Sam
Allardyce's match day squads - despite having barely featured this season.
The Welsh international's career has been dogged by a succession of injuries
although the most recent barrier to regular first team football has been his
manager, who has preferred aletrnative options on the whole this season.
However that hasn't deterred Collison from doing his best to win back a
place in Alllardyce's 18-man match day squad. "That's part and parcel of the
game," he told "If you look at the quality of our squad, there
are 22 outfield players and there is a lot of quality not even making the
bench, let alone the starting XI. There is a lot of competition for places.
"The boys have been magnificent so there has been no reason for the manager
to change it too much. "They have got the shirts at the moment and, if they
keep producing, they deserve to keep them. The likes of myself and others
are disappointed and are working hard in training so when that opportunity
comes, it's up to us to take it and keep hold of the shirt."

As exclusively revealed here on KUMB at the end of last month, Collison has
been the subject of one or two enquiries from potentially interested parties
in the Championship, with both Nottingham Forest and Leeds United taking a
look at the 25-year-old. However for Collison, who had made 15 appearances
(mostly from the bench) for the Hammers this season, it's business as usual
- until he gets told otherwise. * Collison was a 76th-minute replacement for
Leicester City's Andy King last night as Wales beat Iceland 3-1 in a
friendly at Cardiff. Hammers team mate James Collins scored the first of the
three Welsh goals on the night, a 12th-minute header.

Jack Collison plans to fight for West Ham future
By Pete O'Rourke - Follow me: @skysportspeteo | Last Updated: 06/03/14

Jack Collison is determined to fight for his future at West Ham despite
being linked with loan moves away from Upton Park. The likes of Leeds and
Nottingham Forest are thought to be keen on signing Collison before the
close of the loan window. Collison has struggled to hold down a regular
place in Sam Allardyce's side this season, making just six Premier League
starts, but the Wales international is focused on working his way back into
the manager's plans before the end of the season. "If you look at the
quality of our squad, there are 22 outfield players and there is a lot of
quality not even making the bench, let alone the starting XI," Collison told
the club's official website. "There is a lot of competition for places. "The
boys have been magnificent, so there has been no reason for the manager to
change it too much. "They have got the shirts at the moment and, if they
keep producing, they deserve to keep them. "The likes of myself and others
are disappointed and are working hard in training so when that opportunity
comes, it's up to us to take it and keep hold of the shirt."

West Ham's Matt Taylor says he is enjoying his new midfield role
By Pete O'Rourke - Follow me: @skysportspeteo | Last Updated: 06/03/14

Versatile performer Matt Taylor admits he is enjoying his new role in
central midfield for West Ham. Taylor normally finds himself playing
left-back or the left side of midfield for West Ham, but in recent weeks he
has been used in an unfamiliar centre midfield role. Taylor has started the
last 10 games in midfield after earning a regular spot in Sam Allardyce's
starting XI - and the 32-year-old says the new position has given him a new
lease of life. "I am just enjoying my football to be honest," Taylor told
the Newham Recorder. "I'm enjoying my chance to play because the older you
get, the more you appreciate playing football because it won't be around
forever. "So from that point of view I am really enjoying it and if I can
contribute to the team, I will be really happy with that."
West Ham saw their good run of form come to an end at Everton last time out
and Taylor knows it is vital they get over that defeat as they look to steer
clear of trouble at the wrong end of the table. "We need to pick ourselves
up from the Everton defeat," added Taylor. "There are 10 games left before
the end of the season and we need to get as many results as we can to make
sure we cement our place in the top half."

James Tomkins praises local youngsters for work on transforming Olympic
By Emma Webb | Last Updated: 06/03/14 10:13pm

Defenders George McCartney and James Tomkins have backed West Ham United's
use of local youngsters in the ongoing work to convert the Olympic Stadium
into the club's new home in time for 2016. Engineering company Imtech has
employed up to 60 apprentices from the Newham area as part of the Olympic
legacy commitment to train and assist with the transformation, with 16
already securing permanent employment on and off the Park. McCartney and
Tomkins visited the site on Thursday and personally thanked the young men,
including George Skuce and Mohamed Mohamed, for their contribution to the
Hammers' new home while awarding them autographed West Ham shirts. "It's a
great project and it's great for the young apprentices working here," said
Tomkins. "A lot of them are local and fans as well, which makes it even
better. "We wanted to show our appreciation to the apprentices for building
us this lovely stadium."

The decision to move has been contested by some fans, but Skuce, 18, is a
lifelong West Ham fan from Canning Town and has seen first-hand the benefits
of the transition. "It is the Olympic Stadium, it's got to be great," he
said. "There is going to be retractable seating, the view won't be an issue,
not at all. "It's most definitely a great move for the club - it's like
opening a bigger branch! "The West Ham link was everything to me. I've been
brought up with West Ham, supporting them from day one. It's definitely
something I'll look back on with pride over the coming years."

West Ham United vice-chairman Karren Brady has played a key role in West
Ham's move out of the Boleyn Ground and into the Olympic Stadium since 2011.

The development of the Imtech apprenticeship scheme has been of particular
importance for her, in observing the pledge made to the West Ham fans and
the people of Newham. "We always promised that West Ham United's move to the
stadium would create hundreds of jobs for local people and the fact that the
stadium's stunning conversion is already transforming young lives is
something that we are very proud of. "I am personally delighted that fans
like George are working on the project."

Whilst the internal building work still has a long way to go, the south of
the park opens to the public on April 5. It has been transformed into an
area of landscaped gardens with a children's play area, for the public to
enjoy ahead of the opening of the stadium. The calendar for the Stadium is
already filling up, with five matches of the 2015 Rugby World Cup scheduled
to be played there, along with some events of the new Invictus Games,
organised by Prince Harry for wounded soldiers, to be held later this year.

By Sean Whetstone 6 Mar 2014 at 08:44
West Ham Till I Die

Tony Carr MBE will be honoured tonight with a life time achievement award at
the Willow foundation London Football Legends Awards 2014 at the Grange
Tower Bridge Hotel, London.

Born in Bow, Tony started his career as an apprentice at the club in 1966
cleaning Bobby Moore and Geoff Hurst's boots. He went on to become a
professional footballer in 1969 but never rose above the West Ham reserve
team and left West ham in 1971 after the young striker suffered an injury.He
started coaching youngsters in 1973 after an invitation from John Lyall and
by 1980 he was full-time and putting his own stamp on the famous Academy of

His previous success stories include Glen Johnson, John Terry, Rio
Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, Michael Carrick, Joe Cole and Jermain Defoe and
more recently James Tomkins, Jack Collision and Mark Noble

From Ron Greenwood to Sam Allardyce, manager after manager during his 41
years at the Boleyn Ground West Ham have enjoyed Tony's commitment to
developing the stars of tomorrow. His aim has always been is to produce
well-rounded individuals that understand all aspects of the 'West Ham way'.
Last year Tony was was honoured by the FA for his forty plus years of work
as West Ham United's Youth Academy Director as he received the Outstanding
Contribution to Youth Development award and in 2010 he was made an MBE in
the Queen's birthday honours list for his services to football and received
a star-studded testimonial from West Ham.

About Willow Foundation

Willow is the only UK charity supporting seriously ill 16 to 40 year olds by
providing unique and positive Special Days. We are totally reliant on the
generosity of individuals, companies, trusts and foundations to fund our
work. Since 1999 Willow has fulfilled more than 10,000 Special Days for
young adults living with life-threatening conditions such as cancer, motor
neurone disease, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy and Huntington's
disease.Founded by former Arsenal goalkeeper and TV presenter, Bob Wilson
Willow is a lasting memorial to their daughter, Anna, who died of cancer
aged 31.

Other nominees up for awards tonight with a West ham connection

Harry Redknapp is up for Outstanding contribution to a London Club for his
work with West ham whom he left 13 years ago. Harry started his career at
West Ham in 1962 as an apprentice becoming a senior player between 1965 and
1972. He returned as manager in 1994 leaving in 2001. Former West Ham
Manager Alan Curbishley is up for the same award for his work with Charlton.

Mervyn Day is up for the London Goalkeeping Award for West ham while West
Ham legend Phil Parkes is up for the same award for his time at QPR. Mervyn
was at West ham between 1973-1979.

Finally Jussi Jaaskelainen is up for Player of the year 2013/2014 against
Eden Hazard and Aaron Ramsey.


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