Incoming West Ham United Academy Manager and Head of Coaching & Player Development Terry Westley is determined to provide first team manager Sam Allardyce with a steady flow of homegrown talent.

The Hammers boast a proud tradition of nurturing young players through from the youth teams to top flight and international football, with current first teamers Mark Noble and James Tomkins taking their place on the long list of Academy graduates alongside the likes of Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst, Martin Peters, Billy Bonds, Trevor Brooking, Rio Ferdinand, Joe Cole and Frank Lampard.

Westley, who has played his part in identifying and developing future internationals himself in similar roles at Ipswich Town, Derby County, Birmingham City and Luton Town, cannot wait to get down to work at the Boleyn Ground and write another illustrious chapter in the Academy's history.

He explained: "West Ham is a Club steeped in history with a great tradition for producing their own players. I've had three tremendous years working for the Premier League, and in club football before that, but the chance to join a Club with this history and tradition, helping to bring players through to the first team, was too big an opportunity to turn down.

"To get back on the grass, work with the young players and with the senior staff, and continue the great work that Tony Carr has been doing turned my head. I worked with the Chairmen and Karren Brady at Birmingham City and they've made me very welcome. I can't wait to get started and start trying to help

"I look at my own career as a coach, and when I was at Ipswich and we had young players like George Burley, John Wark, Eric Gates, Alan Brazil, Terry Butcher and Russell Osman playing in the team. It made big news for the supporters - they can recognise, and identify with, a homegrown player in the team.

"This Club can hold its own with most other clubs with the amount of players they've brought through to play full international football. I want to try to help and continue that path, and make it stronger."

While Westley plans to hit the ground running, he will have expert advice to call upon if needed in the shape of former Academy Manager Tony Carr MBE, who was recently appointed ambassador for the club after 40 years working in various coaching roles at the Club. Westley is clearly thrilled to have someone of Carr's experience to turn to as he looks to help bridge the gap between the Under-18's and first team.

He continued: "The reason I'm here is to bring players through to the first team squad. I'm delighted that Tony has stayed because none of this could have happened without that being sorted out first. He's been an absolute gent since I've arrived, supported me and told me the good bits and not so good bits and we'll work together to take the Club forward.

"That's the big challenge now, I believe that at 17 and 18 you can still get people in the team. They clearly have to be good enough and they clearly have to be worked from a young age and we will do our damndest to make it work."

"I will oversee all age groups from U21 downwards, trying to ensure the player has all the right tools to transition from Academy to First Team. The work they do and the development programme they have is crucial, as the stats prove that players are now in the system for longer before they make their debut. It's not a case of getting your washbag at 2 o'clock and going home, there have to be plans in place for the players to continue to develop, whether that's on loan or in the U21s league.

"I've been very impressed with their application and there are some very talented young players here. That stands out very quickly, and it's important that we show those players a pathway, a development plan and we prepare them for first team football.

"This place wants to see some homegrown players in the first team, just as I do."

Of his own career to date, Westley certainly possesses an impressive pedigree, with numerous players emerging from his tutelage to shine at the highest level. He was also taught about the traditions of West Ham while working with another Hammers legend in former manager John Lyall.

He explained: "I started at Ipswich with John Lyall. I come from a very good school of John Lyall, Bobby Robson, Charlie Woods, Cyril Lea, Bobby Ferguson - coaching staff at Ipswich who made a real impression on me with high standards and great work ethic.

"I saw some very good players at Ipswich in my time there, Richard Wright, James Scowcroft, Titus Bramble, John Wark, George Burley, Eric Gates, that type.

"That gave me a good start and then I had the opportunity to move to Luton with David Pleat where we had to produce players to keep the club afloat.

"John Hartson, Paul Telfer and Matthew Upson all came through the system in that time and we sold around £15m worth of players in the space of five years.

"I then worked for Alan Curbishley at Charlton, with players like Paul Konchesky and Scott Parker, who both played for their country. At Derby, Tom Huddlestone, Giles Barnes, Lee Camp and Lee Holmes were players who are still playing League football now and again one or two of them have gone on to play international football.

"Finally at Birmingham, the current crop of Jordon Mutch, Nathan Redmond and Jack Butland have all gone on to become Premier League footballers. I want to help, carry on the great work that's been done here, and will make every effort to bring the manager some players."