- Academy winger Dan Kemp named in England squad for prestigious Toulon Tournament
- Eighteen-year-old has enjoyed fine season, scoring three goals in 24 games for West Ham United's U23s
- Kemp and the Hammers tackle Newcastle United in Premier League 2 promotion play-off final on Tuesday evening
West Ham United Academy winger Dan Kemp has been included in England’s squad for the prestigious Toulon Tournament, formally known as the Maurice Revello Tournament, in France.
The call up represents Kemp’s first inclusion in a Young Lions squad and gave the teenage attacker a timely boost ahead of Tuesday’s Premier League 2 Division 2 promotion play-off final with Newcastle United at St James’ Park.
England won the tournament last summer and will kick-off the defence of their title by tackling Angola, Cuba and Japan in their group stage games, which will be played between 29 May-4 June. The final will be played in Aubagne on Saturday 10 June.
“I’m delighted,” confirmed the 18-year-old, who has totalled 20 Premier League 2 and EFL Trophy appearances for the Hammers’ U23s this season. “It’s always a dream to be called up for England and I’m honoured to have been called up for my country, so hopefully I can make my debut while we’re over there.
“I want to kick on now and play a lot of games for England and keep moving forward. England won the tournament last season and it’s an excellent competition, so it’ll be an amazing experience and I’m over the moon.
“I’m really pleased with how the season has gone. It’s been a great one for me and my best to date. We’re looking to finish off a great season for the Academy tonight by getting promoted, so this call up has given me a big boost ahead of the game.”
It’s always a dream to be called up for England and I’m honoured to have been called up for my country, so hopefully I can make my debut while we’re over there
The teenager joined the Hammers in November 2015, having spent a decade in the Chelsea Academy, and played his part in the Club’s memorable U21 Premier League Cup success last season.
West Ham will aim to finish their year on a high again when they travel to St. James’ Park for the third time this season on Tuesday evening.
The Hammers won 4-0 at The Hawthorns on the final day of the regular season before winning 2-1 at Wolverhampton Wanderers in the play-off semi-finals courtesy of two late goals.
Opponents Newcastle finished third in the league standings and go into the final in good form. Peter Beardsley’s men have won three games on the bounce including a 2-0 semi-final victory over Fulham last week.
With his England call up fresh in his mind, however, Kemp will be inspired to shatter the Magpies’ dreams of playing in Premier League 2 Division 1 next season.