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2013-11-22T12:00:00 Updated 2015-02-18T23:30:04

Carr enjoying U18s success

Academy Director Tony Carr MBE has praised his staff and players for West Ham United's outstanding Barclays U18 Premier League form.

The Hammers' youngsters are on an eight-match unbeaten run ahead of Saturday's visit of Fulham to Little Heath. Kick-off will be at 11am, with free admission and parking.

With that fixture, as well as an FA Youth Cup third-round trip to Accrington Stanley, to look forward to, Carr was in a positive mood when he sat down to talk to West Ham TV.

Tony, the U18s have been on a really superb run of form and go into the weekend visit of Fulham eight games unbeaten?

TC: "Yes, certainly. Steve Potts, in his first full season in charge of the U18s assisted by myself and Mark Phillips, is doing a very good job. The team are in very good form at the moment, unbeaten in eight and coming off a very good 3-1 win at Reading last Saturday.

"We've got a really tough game coming up against top-of-the-table Fulham this weekend. They are a very strong and powerful side who have only lost one game all season, so it's a massive test for us and we'll find out a lot about the boys. We're looking forward to it and, win or lose, it'll be a very good game."

A lot has been said about the state of youth development in English football, but the results we have achieved this year prove there is talent at the Club?

TC: "At the end of the day, the philosophy at this Club has always been to find, nurture and produce home-grown talent. I've said many times before that we're not going to bury our heads in the sand and get every boy from Essex or within an hour's drive. We have to look further afield.

"Djair Parfitt-Williams scored a hat-trick last Saturday against Reading and he's a good example [of us scouting players from afar]. He came through the International Academy. Djair came up on the radar from Bermuda through Clyde Best, who we still keep in contact with.

"We put him on a course with the International Academy and then picked him up and he is now a registered player with West Ham and he's got a chance. You can never say a player is going to make it, but he's got a chance and we hope he is one for the future."

Talking of the future, we will face Accrington Stanley in the FA Youth Cup third round in December. It is the competition the boys all look forward to, isn't it?

TC: "We go into every season hoping to have a good run in the FA Youth Cup and it creates great interest from the fans. The players like it because they get to play in stadia under the floodlights and it's a knockout competition and always something the players look forward to.

"We've got Accrington away which is going to be tough and we have got to give them the utmost respect. They beat Ilkeston in the second round and Steve Potts and our recruitment officer Dave Hunt went to that game on Tuesday night.

"Ilkeston gave a good account of themselves and were unlucky not to score, but Accrington came out on top on the night, so obviously we've got to go there and hopefully we can come out winners."

Finally, we welcome one of West Ham's most-famous Academy graduates back to the Boleyn Ground this Saturday in Frank Lampard. Now 35, Frank has recently passed 100 caps for England, which is some achievement. How do you sum up his fantastic career?

TC: "It is a fantastic achievement to reach 100 caps and I've sent Frank a message of congratulation on reaching that landmark. He now has 103 and I'm sure he'll now want to emulate Bobby Moore by getting to 108 caps.

"You don't get that amount of caps and play and score as regularly as he has without being a top, top player and Frank is a top, top player, full-stop."

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