Carr revving up on WHUTV

He may be approaching his 38th season with West Ham United and celebrate his 60th birthday in September, but there is no curbing the enthusiasm of Academy Director Tony Carr.

A month ahead of the start of pre-season training and welcoming a bumper intake of 13 new full-time scholars, Carr is already fine-tuning the work his young charges will be doing at Little Heath come Monday 5 July.

Refreshed from a week-long holiday in Dubai, Carr is excited about working with the likes of England Under-17 forward Robert Hall and England U16 midfielders Matthias Fanimo and Blair Turgott on a daily basis.


"We're coming in on 5 July and we're just starting to put the programme together," he told WHUTV. "We've got the outline sorted out of what we'll be doing and the games we'll be playing, so now it's just a case of putting a bit of detail on that. That's what I'm doing at the moment, just going through the detail of the day-to-day work we'll be doing.

"I tend to approach pre-season a week at a time and assess it at the weekend and adjust the next week accordingly - either by increasing or decreasing the amount of training, or altering the amount of ball work or more physical work.

"It's a bit of trial and error the first two weeks with what you're trying to achieve, but most certainly it's an exciting time of year. You're resting, but mentally you are still at work. I've just come back from a week's holiday and I tried to switch off, but with football you never can. It's always on the TV or someone is texting or calling you or you get an email.

"I'm having a break from the day-to-day rigours of training, but I'm looking forward to it already. We've got a month to go.

Hall will return to club duty following a fine showing at the UEFA European U17 Championship in Liechtenstein last month. England won the trophy for the first time in their history, with Hall appearing in all five matches and scoring the winner in the group-stage victory over Turkey.

While Carr is already looking to the future, he also found time to cast an eye back to his successful Testimonial match, which took place at the Boleyn Ground on 5 May.

The likes Rio and Anton Ferdinand and Kieran Richardson turned out to play in honour of the man who helped shape their careers, while Chelsea trio Frank Lampard, Joe Cole and John Terry also returned to the club where they began their careers.


Hammers legend Paolo Di Canio also rolled back the years with a virtuoso display in front of a 13,836-strong crowd.

"It went as well as I could have expected, to be honest. All the players who said they would be coming turned up, we got a good, vociferous crowd who seemed to enjoy their night and it seemed to go down very well with the fans. I'm really, really pleased.

"To hear all the players, including John Terry and Frank Lampard, get the applause and a great ovation from the crowd was fantastic and I thank the fans for that.

"I really enjoyed it and it's only just starting to sink in, to be honest. On the night, it was all happening so fast and there was so much organisation to do on the day that the actual game itself flew by. It wasn't until a few days afterwards that I could take stock and look at the photographs. It wasn't a bad night at all!"