Backroom Blog - Tony Carr MBE

Club Ambassador Tony Carr MBE endorses Mark Noble’s decision to sign a new contract
Hello everyone,

It’s great news for West Ham United that Mark Noble has signed a new long-term contract.
Mark came to the Club as a 12 or 13-year-old after he had trained at various clubs but chosen West Ham.

He has come through the ranks, like many others have in the past and is now our longest-serving player and has captained the side on many occasions.

Mark signing a new contract is fantastic for everybody – the Academy, the fans and the first-team squad. Hopefully the days are over when we sell our best home-grown talent and we will benefit ourselves, rather than watching them play in other clubs’ shirts.

Mark was always a great talent as a youngster. He played for England all through the age-groups and captained the Under-21s, while he is also a prominent Premier League player.

The new contract suggests that the Club has faith in Mark as a player for the next four or five years or more.

He is a great lad, too. He is a local boy who has made good and done well and he can relate with the fans, so I think it’s great news for everybody connected with the Club.

Mark has never got carried away and has always remembered where he came from and, at the end of the day, he has reaped the rewards.

He is still hungry and still wants to improve. I think in every game he wants to prove he is the best player on the pitch and I don’t think I can remember him ever having a serious dip in form. He’s been a model professional all the way through his career.
Mark has never got carried away and has always remembered where he came from and, at the end of the day, he has reaped the rewards
Alongside Mark, James Tomkins also signed a new contract recently and I can remember taking James as a 14-year-old to play against all the big clubs in Italy. One particular match was against Juventus and he was outstanding and their people were asking if we would sell him, and he was only a schoolboy.

We always thought he had the potential and, a little bit like Mark, he has fulfilled his potential and I think it’s great for the Club and great for the future of the Club.

Certainly, when we have talented young players we want to keep them, but it is getting harder and harder for youngsters to make it to the Premier League.

We would prefer every young player to come through and play in a West Ham shirt, but it’s a lot tougher than it was – there is no question about that, because the Premier League has grown and the standards have got higher.

Take Freddie Sears, for example. He was a goalscorer in the youth and reserve teams here with a bit of pace and an eye for goal.

He scored on his debut, but he found it hard to establish himself in the first team, so he had to move down the divisions to Colchester United and now to Ipswich Town.

Ipswich are chasing promotion from the Championship and so Freddie might emerge once again as a Premier League player.

We can take pride from both – I’d prefer them in a West Ham shirt like Mark and James, but sometimes it is not always possible and they make careers elsewhere.

Tony Carr MBE
Club Ambassador