Terry Westley: Jack Collison is a 'very talented coach'



Terry Westley has labelled Jack Collison a “very talented coach” after the former Hammers midfielder was appointed Lead U14-U16 Coach at Chadwell Heath.

Collison had to call time on his playing career in 2016 but has rigorously worked through his coaching badges since retiring.

After impressing at Peterborough United when working with their U18s last year, Collison has been given the opportunity to develop potential stars of the future in east London.

Academy Director Westley has spoken of his delight at bringing the 28-year-old back to the Club, saying: “It’s taken a while to get to this place but what a pedigree. He’s a young man who wants to learn and develop.

“He really impressed me when I sat down and spoke to him about the role [which is] something you don’t get off ex-players all the time. [He has] a real thirst and hunger to want to improve as a coach and I think we’ve got a very talented young coach on our hands.”

Collison joined the Hammers as a bright 17-year-old and immediately impressed the coaches at the Academy of Football. His progression was rewarded with a first team debut in January 2008 and Westley believes his strong affiliation with the Club will stand him in good stead.

“It gives you a starting point,” he continued. “Parents and players and talented young players want someone who can help them and help them progress and get through the ranks.

He really impressed me when I sat down and spoke to him about the role [which is] something you don’t get off ex-players all the time.

Terry Westley


“He does know all about that by being here as a young player and then also playing for the first team and also being an international. So he knows what the requirements are but he’ll be judged on his development, he’ll be judged on being a coach now.

“We want to help him and that’s what really came across strongly when we interviewed him for the job that he actually wants to get better himself.

“You’re talking about a player who has had some hard times in his career when he had to finish early but he got off his backside and done his licence work with the FA. He’s now an A Licence coach, he wants to go on and take his Pro Licence, so his development years are in front of him and we want to help him on his pathway.

Collison will take charge of the U14-U16 age category but Westley has encouraged him to be involved in all age groups at the Academy.

“He’ll work across all age groups because that’s what we say to all the coaches. Rather than “it’s my team”, we encourage the coaches of younger teams to come out and work with our U23s.

“We’ll say the same to Jack, but primarily he will be working with the U16s and with the U14 players in the evenings and Sundays. You’ll mainly see him on Saturdays leading our U16 players, the ones who are vying to become scholars, and really give the experience that he’s had as a young player and coach.”