When Josh Payne came on as a 90th minute substitute at Blackburn Rovers on Saturday, he became the eighth West Ham United Academy graduate to make a first-team appearance this season.

Payne's debut followed hot on the heels of Junior Stanislas', who had made his bow for the Hammers in the previous match against West Bromwich Albion. Fellow teenager Bondz N'Gala provided the defensive cover on the bench at Ewood Park and will no doubt be hoping to follow in the footsteps of the pair by tasting first-team football for the first time in the near future.

It has been another fruitful season for the famed Academy's production line of talent and over the next three days Academy director Tony Carr, who has overseen the trio's development since they joined West Ham, shares his thoughts on the latest youngsters to have made the breakthrough to Gianfranco Zola's first-team plans

First up is 19-year-old England Under-19 international Junior Stanislas.

Junior Stanislas

"Junior came to us when he was about ten-years-old. He's a south London lad and used to come through the Blackwell Tunnel on a daily basis. He's worked hard and come up through the ranks and has got his opportunity this year," Carr explains.

"He had a spell at Southend earlier this season and equipped himself very well there. He's come back now and is training well with the first-team squad and with the situation where Gianfranco has a few injuries and suspensions, these young players are getting their opportunity.

"Junior can play wide left or right and he can also play in the hole, but I'm sure he'll play in the right or left-hand side. He's a good crosser of the ball, has got good close control skills, has an eye for a pass and it has been known for him to bend in a free-kick or two. Technically, he's a good player and now needs to get used to pace and demands of the Premier League - which is a tough call - but the more experienced these players become the better they get.

"Like all these things it is a very slow process. You don't come in one day and all of a sudden there's a shining light there. It becomes a gradual process of playing and training, trying to take things on board and trying to stretch the players in terms of the teams they play in. If they are a 14-year-old you want to see whether they can play with the Under-15s and so on.

"The boys come to me at 16 or 18 on a full-time basis and it's a matter of getting youth team games under their belt,s getting into the reserves, catching people's eyes and taking the opportunity when it comes and that's what these young lads are doing now. It's not fail proof system; it's certainly one that is down to them and their ability."

Check out whufc.com tomorrow for another Tony Carr exclusive on the latest Wet Ham United debutant, Josh Payne.