Professional contract for Hammers youngster
- 17-year-old midfielder Conor Coventry has become the second youngster in successive days to sign his first professional contract with West Ham
- Coventry is a Republic of Ireland U17 international
- The central-midfielder has been with the Club since he was ten and says it was a proud moment to pen his new deal
Promising midfielder Conor Coventry has signed his first professional contract with West Ham United.
The 17-year-old, who has been with the Club since he was ten, is un U18 regular and also represents the Republic of Ireland at U17 youth level.
Coventry made 21 appearances for Steve Potts and Mark Phillips’ Academy of Football side this season, helping the outfit qualify for the upper tier of the U18 Premier League earlier this year.
The central-midfielder also made two appearances for the U23 side, scoring on his London Stadium debut in February’s 2-0 victory over Fulham.
And securing his first professional deal was a proud moment for the youngster.
“It’s really good for me and my family,” he said. “I’ve worked for this for a long time so yes, I’m really happy to sign the deal.
“I’ve been at the Club since I was ten, so it’s good to finally get a pro contract and see if I can kick on again from this.
“[This season] has been good. I’ve just tried to work hard and firstly get myself in the U18s team and then get a few appearances for the 23s. I’ve done what I set out to do and overall I’m happy.
“It was a good moment [to score my first goal for the 23s]. It gave me an incentive to try and get back in the team and try and add more goals to my game. I want to try and improve that and add more goals to my game.
“I think I’m a good all-round midfielder and I like to tackle pass and do a bit of everything. I just try to make sure I’m good in all areas of the pitch and my game.”
I think I’m a good all-round midfielder and I like to tackle pass and do a bit of everything. I just try to make sure I’m good in all areas.
Academy Director Terry Westley thinks Coventry can develop even further next season with the fantastic games’ programme the Academy look forward to next season.
“The U23s will play the likes of Man United, City, Liverpool, Everton, Spurs, Arsenal, Chelsea, so it’s great for the Academy,” Westley said. “It’s a great games programme we have next season.
“They’re good fixtures for 23s players, especially if you’re an U18 like Conor is. Conor has been over to Rush Green to train with the first team and he’s been with the U23 group this year too, so you can see that progression.
“I think to have that plan about what you’re going to do with a player is important. If you’re sitting down with the player and the player’s parents and he’s a top, young player, you want to see there’s progression for them.
“Conor is a lad we think a lot of, and very gifted player with the ball and he has an awful lot to come.”
Coventry has made six appearances for Ireland’s U17s in total, winning every one of the games and starting five.
And the youngster is keen to continue his encouraging progress with international football.
“I love [playing for Ireland] because it’s playing for your country and there’s nothing really like that,” he continued.
“It’s great to get the experience of playing against teams from all over the world, different styles of play, and I think it’s proved to be good for my development.
“You get to see what different players are going to do against you and how different teams will set up against you. In the Premier League, there’s a lot of different nationalities so it’s a good learning curve for the future if I get to play at that level.”