Dan Kemp: We've got resilience in this team


West Ham United U23s winger Dan Kemp scored his third goal of the campaign – and the winner – on Friday night in the 4-3 comeback win at Middlesbrough.

An ever-present in Head Coach Dmitri Halajko’s team, the wide-man has started all eight competitive fixtures so far this season, putting in performances which led to a nomination for Premier League 2 Player of the Month for August.

The U23s’ dramatic fightback in the North-East was not the first time the Academy side have had to overcome adversity this season.

Already this year, the Irons have come back from 4-1 down to beat Newport County 5-4, and trailed early on against Newcastle before eventually running out 2-1 winners.

Kemp puts these fight-backs down to the belief within the squad.

 “We’ve got resilience in the team,” he said. “We’ve got quality as well, and that allows us to believe that we are in the game until the end. It helps us to keep on fighting in order to turn things around, because we know that we’ve done it before and we can do it again.”

Despite conceding twice early on in the second half at Middlesbrough, the winger felt the Hammers were always in control of the match.

“I think it was quite a funny five or ten minutes,” he said. “They were able to score a couple of goals, but we felt that we were still in control of the game. There were a few mistakes and set pieces that let us down but overall, we always felt that we were in the game.”

Our aim is to win the league. That’s what we are striving towards

Dan Kemp

Friday’s victory saw West Ham move top of the Premier League 2 Division 2 table – pending the result of Monday night’s match between Aston Villa and Manchester United - and Kemp made no secret of the squad’s ambitions.

“Our aim is to win the league. That’s what we are striving towards,” he admitted. “We’ve made a great start, and everyone is working really hard.

“The whole staff, the players, the team, we’ve all come together, and it’s been a great start to the season. Dmitri and Steve [Potts] have been brilliant with us, the boys have been brilliant, and we are just looking for it to continue.”


Kemp and the rest of the West Ham squad will have had nine days’ rest before they host Sunderland in the next round of Premier League 2 fixtures. The diminutive winger would not, however, shy away from the chance to feature for the first-team in the Carabao Cup.

“We’ve a bit of a rest, but the first-team have got Oxford on Wednesday in the Carabao Cup and you never know who might be involved in that,” he said.

“It’s my dream to be involved in games like that but if not, we know we’ve got a bit of time to rest and recharge and be ready for the next game.”

West Ham United U23s host Sunderland U23s on Sunday 29 September at the Chigwell Construction Stadium. Kick-off is at 12pm.