Westley: Academy should take pride in international call-ups

Academy Director Terry Westley


Academy Director Terry Westley says West Ham United should take pride in the number of young players called up for international duty.

The Academy of Football has no fewer than eight players away representing their respective nations in a variety of competitive and friendly matches across Europe.

Declan Rice and Josh Cullen (Republic of Ireland U21), Martin Samuelsen (Norway U21), Reece Oxford and Nathan Trott (England U20), Rihards Matrevics (Latvia U19), Anthony Scully (Republic of Ireland U19) and Dan Kemp (England U19) were all selected, while Domingos Quina was forced to pull out of the Portugal U20 squad through injury.

“The number of international call-ups for Academy shows where we are at as a Club, scouting, coaching and developing outstanding young players who are among the very best in their country,” said Westley.

“If you are in the England U20 squad like Oxford and Trott, or a Portugal U20 squad that won the European U19 Championship last summer like Quina, you have got a pedigree of player there that we can be proud of.

“Rice and Cullen are important players for Ireland U21s, who have made a terrific start to their own European Championship qualifying group.

“We also have Nathan Holland, who was on standby for England U20s, Dan Kemp called up for the U19s and Anthony Scully playing in midfield for Ireland U19s.

“The status of our players continues to rise and, as an Academy and as a Club as a whole, this is very encouraging and an endorsement of the work we are doing here at West Ham United.”

Rice and Bolton Wanderers loanee Cullen are in the Republic of Ireland U21 squad for home Group 5 ties with Martin Samuelsen’s Norway on Thursday – who also host Germany in Drammen next Tuesday – and Israel in Dublin on Monday.

Nathan Trott and Reece Oxford, who is on loan at German club Borussia Moenchengladbach, are in the England U20 squad for friendly matches with Italy in Gorgonzola on Thursday and at home to Czech Republic next Tuesday.

Sticking with the Young Lions, Kemp is in the England U19 squad for friendlies in Czech Republic on Friday and Slovakia on Monday.

Finally, Scully’s Republic of Ireland U19s host Azerbaijan on Wednesday, Cyprus on Saturday and Serbia on Tuesday in UEFA European Championship qualifiers in Waterford, while Rihards Matrevics has been called-up by Latvia U19s for a training camp and friendly matches in Riga.