West Ham United Joint-Chairman David Gold has expressed his delight at the opening of the new Academy facility at the iconic Chadwell Heath training ground and emphasised the club’s continued commitment to investing in its future.
Legendary Academy graduates Sir Trevor Brooking, Brian Dear, Alvin Martin, Tony Cottee and club captain Mark Noble were joined by recent graduates Declan Rice and Grady Diangana at the official opening of the new facilities on Tuesday.
The improvement is part of the Board’s wider strategy around the growth and development of the Club at all levels, including a £10m minimum investment across training facilities, of which £4m which is on this phase at Chadwell Heath.
Chadwell Heath is synonymous with producing great players and this investment shows our determination to continue that tradition.
Academy Director Terry Westley, joint-Chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold, and Vice-Chairman Karren Brady, led guests on a tour of the newly developed training ground, and Mr Gold believes the redevelopment highlights West Ham United’s commitment to providing young players with the best environment to develop in.
“Chadwell Heath is synonymous with producing great players and this investment shows our determination to continue that tradition,” he told West Ham TV. “That’s what we desire and I’m confident we can do it year-in, year-out.
“That is what is driving us. We’re investing in the future. We want more home-grown players. It gives us a thrill to see them, and it gives everyone working here a great thrill to see players like Ben Johnson coming in against Manchester City. It’s truly amazing, the fans adore it, and it gives us all a kick.
“That’s what we’re achieving and that’s what we want to happen for years to come. Having this facility really ensures this future.”
Having been joined by West Ham legends and more recent Academy graduates at Chadwell Heath, Mr Gold believes their presence at the event will help to inspire the current crop of young footballers training at the redeveloped site.
He continued: “These players, these legends have come back because this is where it started for them. It gives the young players training and schooling here motivation. They see these players and say: ‘I could do that’.
“This place is all about motivating our young players, and get them believing that they could one day play for a great club like West Ham United.
“Seeing this facility here is just amazing, and the young players training here will be thrilled, and so will their parents. It shows our determination that we want the very best.”