The vast majority of footballers will spend their whole careers dreaming of playing for their nation, let alone captaining their country and winning an international competition.

At the age of just 16, Leo Chambers has achieved all three.

The West Ham United centre-back has been capped regularly by England at U15 and U16 levels, captaining the Young Lions on his U16 debut in Wales in October 2010.

In March, Chambers was part of the England side that retained the prestigious Victory Shield home nations competition by defeating Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Now, the south London-born defender has continued his progress by agreeing a two-year scholarship with the Hammers.

Softly-spoken and possessing a mature outlook on both his life and his career, Chambers is looking forward to adding to the six FA Premier Academy League appearances he made last season when the new campaign gets underway in August.

"I've been playing centre-back for the Under-16s and, since Christmas I've been pushed on to the Under-18s," he told West Ham TV. "I started out as a centre forward for West Ham but I've been developed into a centre-back and I think I've been doing well there.

"I enjoyed the Victory Shield a lot and it was a great experience and is something for other youngsters coming up to aim for."

Chambers is hoping that his scholarship will serve as an inspiration to the youngsters who are growing up in the same part of London where he was raised - Brixton.

Concentrating on his own career, the teenager is now planning to follow in the footsteps of his friend and Academy of Football product Jordan Spence, who made his senior debut for the club at Wigan Athletic in May.

"I come from Brixton so I'm very proud of myself of coming from such a stereotyped area and doing myself proud.

"I speak a lot to Jordan Spence. He tells me to listen to the coaches and play as well as I can week-in, week-out.

"Basically, what I go by is making sacrifices of things you want for things you want even more. That's the rule I go by."

West Ham TV