Doing an interview to camera is never the easiest part of being a footballer, and for West Ham United U23s star Dan Kemp, the task was made even more difficult this week.
Speaking following a tough training session at the Academy side’s pre-season camp in Kosice, Slovakia, Kemp found himself not only facing a camera and microphone, but with a flock of his teammates watching on.
The 20-year-old did not let himself be distracted by his fellow young Hammers, however, holding himself with admirable maturity while the group took photos and attempted to nutmeg their teammate.
Having conducted his media responsibilities, Kemp was quickly jumped upon by a number of U23s players in celebration.
Just mere seconds before, the winger hailed the comradery of the young squad, saying the entire team is working together to build a winning mentality.
“We’re all a tight-knit group and we all get on really well,” Kemp told whufc.com. “Coming away is a good way of getting more time with the boys and allows us to build towards the season.
“I think, as a group, we’re looking to build the foundations for the season. That starts with training. We want to create a good winning mentality, and, for me, that starts out here.
“For me personally, I want to get more goals and more assists and also get more minutes under my belt, so I’m fit and ready for the season.”
Steve Potts’ U23s are a few days into a week of intense work in Slovakia; an experience Kemp is enjoying, with the Academy team visiting the area for a second consecutive summer.
Coming away is a good way of getting more time with the boys...we're a tight-knit group and we all get on really well.
The attacker is already off the mark, having scored West Ham’s winner against FC Kosice on Tuesday, and Kemp was delighted to kick-start his pre-season in such a positive manner.
He continued: “We’ve really enjoyed this training camp so far. We had the game on Tuesday and got off to a good start with the win. We’ve been working hard in training, so it’s all been enjoyable.
“It’s always good to get a goal. With the position I play, it’s my job to create and score goals for the team. More importantly, it’s good to get minutes. That’s what you want from pre-season – getting minutes under your belt.”
While Kemp trains in Slovakia a number of Academy graduates including captain Mark Noble, England international Declan Rice, Grady Diangana and Ben Johnson are featuring for Manuel Pellegrini’s first team in the Premier League Asia Cup in China.
The wide-man is targeting a push into the senior squad plans this campaign and will do all he has to in order to earn that opportunity.
“Breaking into the first team is something I’m looking to do and is something I’ve been trying to do,” Kemp added. “The first team is the end goal. That’s what every player wants; to play in the first team.
“I look to work hard every day, work hard in training, and transfer that into the games and hopefully do well. Hopefully, I will one day get that opportunity to play.”