Will Greenidge wins 2019/20 Dylan Tombides Award
Will Greenidge has won the 2019/20 Dylan Tombides Award in recognition of an outstanding campaign from the 18-year-old.
The defender, who recently put pen-to-paper on his first professional contract as a footballer, made 20 appearances for the Under-18s over the course of the season.
During that time, his outstanding consistency saw him miss only one U18s game as they concluded their curtailed Premier League South campaign in second place.
Greenidge also recorded two assists in 2019/20 and enjoyed his first taste of senior football, starting for the Under-21s in their spectacular 5-4 win over Newport County in the Leasing.com Trophy in September.
The Dylan Tombides award is given annually to the Academy of Football’s outstanding Scholar, and is named in honour of the late West Ham United and Australia U23 forward Tombides, who tragically passed away at the age of 20 in April 2014.
This year’s trophy was presented to Greenidge by Anton Ferdinand and Taylor Tombides, brother to Dylan and a coach at the Academy, who work hand-in-hand with the DT38 Foundation, a charity founded to fight testicular cancer in both the UK and Dylan’s native Australia.
“It’s obviously a great honour to win this award,” Greenidge told West Ham TV. “There were a lot of great players who could have won it, but I think I’ve proven what I can do this season.
“It’s been one of my best seasons, and obviously with the legacy of Dylan Tombides, it’s a real honour to win it. I’ve been here for so long and I was here [at the Academy] when he was here. It’s a sad story, but with what he’s left and how West Ham have honoured him, I think it’s a real honour to win something with his name on it.
“When you’re playing every week, you just get into that flow, and the team we had last season was so good and the way we were playing was so enjoyable, every Saturday I’d turn up knowing it’d be a good game.
“When you’re a young kid, all you dream of is that first professional contract. Now I’ve got it, I just want to push on and show the whole Academy and Club what I can do.”
Academy Manager Ricky Martin added: “[U18s coaches] Kevin Keen and Mark Phillips and I discussed it, and both of them were 100 per cent behind giving this to Will.
“He performed week-in, week-out. He only missed one game for the U18s, was very consistent in his performances and was very reliable, and the U18s had a great season because of good players such as Will.
“Many players were discussed in great detail and there were many candidates to win this award, but congratulations must go to Will.”
Dylan's mother and DT38 Foundation founder Tracy Tombides said: "I’d like to send my congratulations to Will and wish him all the best for the next stage of his professional career.
“He should be very proud of himself to be recognised for all the qualities that he must possess to be the recipient of this award, and I look forward to following his career.”
Taylor Tombides added: “Will’s done a massive job, and all congratulations go to him. I hope he has a successful career. He’s done really well to achieve the award.
“It honours West Ham how they still regard my brother’s name. It’s a massive honour for me and my family that West Ham would still do this for us, and shows how Dylan was such a big part of this Club.”
For more information about DT38 and the fight against testicular cancer, click here.