Thursday 22 Feb
Updated Thursday 22 Feb 10:04

Ex-Hammers host Academy defending masterclass


Some of West Ham United’s most experienced former stars put on a defending masterclass for the Academy of Football during half-term last week.

Steve Potts – a former Hammer of the Year and now the U18s manager – put a group of full-backs, aged U12–U18, through their paces alongside Paul Konchesky, who of course represented West Ham as well as England.

Matt Upson, who with Konchesky has been mentoring a number of young players at Chadwell Heath this season on a voluntary basis, also held some centre-back sessions with a group of the same age.

The youngsters first, as part of the introductory presentation, went through some match clips, with Potts, Konchesky and Upson giving their valuable insight into real-life in-game scenarios.

The players then put what they had learned into practice on the training pitch before finally having the chance to go through any problems they may have with the coaches one-on-one.

Academy Manager Terry Westley was delighted the session could be held and said: “The idea behind it was for the players – most of whom are still at school – to come in all together and nail down some of the fundamentals of playing in defence with some of the best defenders West Ham have had.

“There were well over 2,000 professional senior appearances in the room with the three of those ex-West Ham players, and it was a great chance for the youngsters to pick the brains of them and learn from their experience.”