Interview: Jim Hampsheir and Roque Nchaso on the Hong Kong Soccer Sevens Tournament
After returning home with the Citi Sevens Shield Trophy in hand, Roque Nchaso spoke about his experience of the tournament with Jim Hampsheir, Senior Academy Integration Officer at the West Ham United Foundation.
U18s Assistant Manager Mark Phillips said, "Considering Roque had never played at this standard before, and was thousands of miles from home with a group of players he didn't know before traveling, he coped extremely well."
"He played a large number of minutes throughout the tournament, and also vastly improved his social interaction with both players and staff as the week wore on. I feel and hope it was a fulfilling experience both on and off the pitch for Roque, who ultimately returned with a winning medal!"
Operations Manager at the West Ham Academy Adam Raimes said, "Roque travelling with the U23 squad to such a prestige tournament is a great example of the close working relationship that the Academy and Foundation hold. We endeavour to collaborate and support each other wherever possible and opportunities such as this are a just reward for the fantastic effort put in.
However, we also must not detract from the quality of Player they possess within their Second Chance Programme, training side by side with the Academy, and earning the right to be assessed in an elite tournament. The boys within the scheme are driven towards achieving an opportunity within a Professional Football Club and the reality of how close this can be is further endorsed by the opportunities Roque has earned."
Bryan Glover and Sam Taylor of the West Ham United Foundation, who have both worked tirelessly to ensure the programme and the Learning Academy is where it is today, have also played a vital role in helping kids like Roque get chances such as this. The programme continues to go from strength to strength, and will undoubtedly provide further success stories in the coming years.
PLAYER PATHWAYS: if you are a player aged 16-18 years old and would like further information on how to enrol on this programme, please contact Jim Hampsheir on firstname.lastname@example.org or Sam Taylor on Staylor@westhamunited.co.uk