Meet the Academy trio taking on Macclesfield

Grady Diangana

Grady Diangana leads a trio of Academy stars in Manuel Pellegrini’s squad to take on Macclesfield Town in this evening’s Carabao Cup third tie, with the 20-year-old starting in the Hammers front three.

He is joined by Conor Coventry and Joe Powell in the matchday squad and we’ve got the lowdown on all three here…

Grady Diangana

20-year-old Diangana makes his senior debut for the Hammers this evening, eight years after he first joined the Academy of Football.

An exciting attacker who can play across the forward line, Diangana has been part of the Premier League 2 set-up since the 2014/15 campaign.

He has appeared in five Premier League 2 Division 1 games this season, along with the opening Checkatrade Trophy group stage clash at Bristol Rovers.

Having modelled his game on the Brazilian great Ronaldinho, Diangana has now featured 58 times for the Club’s U23 side.

Conor Coventry

Conor Coventry

Conor Coventry, a Republic of Ireland U19 international, is on the first team bench this evening at the age of just 18.

He won the Dylan Tombides Award given to the Club’s outstanding Academy player last season and has continued his progress by appearing in all of the Premier League 2 team’s games this season up until last night’s Checkatrade Trophy tie at Exeter City.

He has risen through the ranks rapidly at the Academy, quickly becoming a key figure for the U23s after making his mark at U18 level.

Possessing a maturity beyond his years, the tenacious midfielder is well placed to keep that upward trajectory on course.

Joe Powell

The third Academy player in tonight’s matchday squad is Hammers fan Joe Powell.

The attacking midfielder turns 20 next month and has shown great promise in moving through the age groups in over a decade with the Club.

A tricky player who looks to create around the box, Powell has been involved in six goals for the Premier League 2 side this year, scoring twice and setting up four more in just six appearances.

In total, he has played 41 times at U23 level, adding to his 21 games for the U18s.