Spreading the word

Academy Director Tony Carr and former Hammers favourite Ian Bishop have been spreading the club's gospel at the West Ham United International Academy National Camps in the United States.

Carr and Bishop were joined at the first of three camps by Assistant Academy Director Paul Heffer, technical skills director Ian Yuill, Academy coach Mark Phillips, International Academy coach James Meara and West Ham United Ladies player and coach Tracey Duxbury.

The illustrious group ran a series of drills for hundreds of young footballers at the Darlington School in Rome, Georgia - one of dozens of clubs and schools to have forged an official partnership with the International Academy.

The youngsters who attended the residential camp had been selected from Regional Camps across the North America, with players hailing from the States of Georgia, Indiana, New Jersey, Minnesota, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Florida, as well as Canada and Mexico.

Ian Bishop

Ex-Hammers favourite Ian Bishop shares his expertise

On their arrival, each player was presented with full kit, as well as a football, water bottle and a sports bag.

The players were put through their paces over a four-day period during which they took part in a variety of fitness, technical and other specialist sessions, including swimming, to help them to develop their games.

The young goalkeepers among the camp attendees were also given the chance to hone their skills with International Academy goalkeeper coach and former Brazil youth international Jose 'Gaucho' Pinho.

Off the pitch, the players were also given talks and shown video clips by the coaches to help them to learn new techniques.

A second four-day National Camp is currently unde rway in Rome, while a third will take place at the Youth Soccer Park in Santa Clara, California, between Saturday 16 July and Tuesday 19 July.

Tony Carr

Academy Director Tony Carr MBE imparts his knowledge

The very best players from the three camps will be invited to take part in an Academy Experience visit to Little Heath later this year. The ten-day visits give the youngsters the opportunity to train alongside West Ham's own Academy schoolboys and scholars at Little Heath.

Two current West Ham professionals, United States U20 midfielder Sebastian Lletget and Australia U17 striker Dylan Tombides, were both spotted while playing for clubs that had signed partnerships with the International Academy. Lletget played previously for Sporting Santa Clara in California, while Tombides turned out for Stirling Lions in his native city of Perth in Western Australia.

For more information about West Ham United International Academy, click here.

Paul Heffer

Assistant Academy Director Paul Heffer keeps a close eye on things

Ian Yuill

Technical skills director Ian Yuill illustrates a new technique