Leroy On Liam

Former Hammers striker Leroy Rosenior says of son Liam - currently on trial at Upton Park: "He's better than I was!"

17-year-old Liam played for the reserves against Wimbledon on Monday night as he seeks a move from his current club Bristol City, where Leroy used to coach, to the Premiership.

Chelsea have already had him on trial and are weighing up their options, and Leroy says: "I left Bristol City, and he felt it was better he left the club as well to see if he could get a contract. He had an approach from Chelsea and was there a week, and he is now at West Ham.

"I think he has got good ability and he has a chance to be a very good player. West Ham have extended his stay for a week so he could get a couple of reserve games in, and we will just have to wait and see.

"He has got a lot of qualities; he is a lot better than me and obviously plays in a different position.

"At 17 he has a lot more than I had so I am really hopeful for him. He works really hard at his game and he can play at right back or right midfield so he is a bit more creative than I was - I was a bit more brute force, so he has got a bit more talent than me.

"It is for his development that it would be better to go to a Premiership club, he feels, and I agree with him.

"I think he will be there to the end of the week and there will be a lot of things that need to be discussed, but obviously but I won't be party to those discussions because it is between the clubs.

"But the main thing is he has gone there and got a lot out of it, and has enjoyed it immensely. He has given it his best shot and if anything else comes of it he will be delighted, and we'll see where it takes him.

"Chelsea are still interested and went to watch him in the reserves for West Ham on Monday, but the difficulty is that he is signed with Bristol City and compensation and things like that come into it, so it is not as simple and straightforward as you would like.

"Firstly, though, they have got to want him, and secondly something would have to be sorted out, but I don't think it would be a big fee."

Leroy insists he won't lean on Liam to choose east over west London, and adds: "West Ham is my old club and I love them, but I haven't got a preference because at the end of the day it is Liam's choice. He is a grown man now, 17-years-old, and he will make the choice without any pressure from me.

"It is about Liam's career and whatever he chooses I will back him 100%. I have a lot of friends at West Ham, it is a great club, and I have a lot of fond memories there, but that was me and what I don't want is for Liam to be judged in the same vein as me or compared to me.

"He is a totally different player to me and is his own man, and a great strength of his is that he is very single minded.

"What I did is gone, all in the past, and you have to look to the future now, and the future is Liam - but if he does go to West Ham I'll have a little grin on my face.

"I might be a bit biased as a father but other people have said that he can go all the way, all things being equal.

"But football is a funny game and you have to keep your feet on the ground or they can get whipped away. Given the chance and the right conditions, though, he can be a very good player.

"Football has changed since I was his age in terms of academies and people are putting in a lot more effort and thought into the development of players. Football has had a massive re-think about how it develops youngsters.

"West Ham have very good coaches, and very good people, which is important. People look after you and there is an element of loyalty which I like in a club, which you can see by people like Tony Carr still being there.

"Some of the coaches there have been at the club for many years, so they are experienced at what they are doing.

"I'm hopeful something will happen but I'd reiterate that I don't want to jump the gun. I'm just glad he's had the chance and we'll see where it goes - they've given him the chance and now we'll see if he takes it."

Liam certainly looked comfortable in the 4-0 win over Wimbledon reserves this week, and Leroy adds: "Liam played on Monday with Scott Minto, who said that he played with me at Charlton, so it was a bit weird him playing with players I had played with.

"Pottsie was there when I was there and may remember Liam as a little kid in the gym. He will be surprised by how much he has grown - as I am."

Leroy recently left Bristol City to go to struggling Welsh club Merthyr Tydfil as boss and, with two wins in their last two games, has hauled them up from second bottom to fifth bottom of the Doctor Martens Premiership.

He feels the club has massive potential. All of his time since leaving the playing side through injury has been spent managing or coaching - he was previously boss at Gloucester City - and he adds: "I have been doing it for 10 years, but I have moved back to non-league after being a first team coach at Bristol City; but I'm still young and I want to manage.

"I have done it before and that's what I enjoy doing. Although it was great working with Danny Wilson I just felt for my own development I wanted to get hold of a club and start managing again.

"At the moment I'd like to get into the league, but it is one step at a time. I am ambitious and if you are not you might as well get out of the game.

"I'm still pretty young at 37 in terms of management. At first people wouldn't let me into boardrooms because they said I looked too young!

"All I want to do is work as hard as I can and people judge you on that."

One day he would like to return to Upton Park as boss and admits: "That would be nice but I can't see that in the near future, definitely, because Glenn Roeder is doing an absolutely tremendous job.

"At the start of the season people were a bit sceptical about him getting the job but he has gone in and, after a shaky start which was understandable, he has steadied the ship and they are playing some great football.

"I am really pleased for him and the club. I hope Glenn is there for many years to come."