Hammers ace impressed with crop of exciting youngsters
An academy graduate himself, 25-year-old Noble believes the club’s promising youngsters will soon be competing for first team places at Upton Park.
West Ham’s academy is well known for producing talented players. Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, Glen Johnson and Michael Carrick, have all gone on to win trophies and play for England after rising through the ranks at the Hammers’ academy.
Currently, the Hammers have several former academy players in the first team squad including Jack Collison, James Tomkins, Jordan Spence, Rob Hall and Dan Potts, as well as Mark Noble.
The central midfielder has identified several academy players who could soon make an impact on the West Ham first team.
“I think Jordan[Spence], Moncs [George Moncur], Hally [Rob Hall], Matthias [Fanimo], young Leo [Chambers] – who has travelled with us to the last two Premier League games and been on the bench – and the others are doing well,” said the Hammers’ vice-captain.
“If they keep on grafting, don’t let it go to their heads when they travel with the first team and put it in when they play for the Development Squad, then they will keep enjoying it and keep moving forward.”
West Ham are currently six points clear at the top of Barclays U21 Premier League Group 1, under the leadership of coach Ian Hendon. Noble believes their successes at youth level will soon allow the young Hammers to progress into the first team, but admits they face a tough road ahead if they are to make it in the Premier League.
“We have got a good crop of young players and they will soon be pushing the seniors for their places. The Premier League is obviously a tough league to come into – I learnt that as a 17-year-old that it’s a tough ask and you’ve got to be mentally capable to do that – but hopefully they can keep pushing us,” Noble added.