Pask turns professional

West Ham United Academy player Josh Pask is the latest player to have signed his first professional contract at the club.

The central defender has signed a three year contract on his 17th birthday, having first joined the Academy at just eight years old.

Pask has been an U18s regular having made nine appearances as an U16 schoolboy, and is now forcing his way into the Development Squad side.

Speaking after the signing of his first professional deal, he said: "It's definitely a proud day for me and my family. I've worked really hard for this. When West Ham offered me the contract, I thought why not take it. Arsenal offered me a contract as well but I thought West Ham was the best place for me."

When Pask first joined the Academy he started out as a striker, yet over the years the coaching staff at the West Ham Academy transformed him into a commanding centre-back. Now, Pask hopes to emulate fellow academy products James Tomkins and Rio Ferdinand.

"I've been here for long time now, eight years already but it has flown by. I've thoroughly enjoyed it here so far and I'm looking forward to that continuing. Hopefully I'll involved in the first team some time soon.

This season, Pask has played an integral role in the U18s' eight-game unbeaten start to the season. As part of that run, Steve Potts' men managed to keep three consecutive clean sheets. Pask's performances were recognized as he made his U21 debut as a substitute against Liverpool as well as starting against Athletic Bilbao and Manchester United.