Academy of Football youngster Kamarai Swyer has signed his first professional contract with West Ham United.
Signing on his 18th birthday on Friday, the forward – who has played across the front line for Academy sides this season, featuring as both a winger and a playmaker – has been rewarded for his excellent start to the campaign with a deal until the summer of 2023.
Having begun the season as a regular in Kevin Keen’s U18s side, for whom he scored five goals in eleven appearances in 2019/20, Swyer made his U23s and Premier League 2 debut as a substitute against Blackburn Rovers in October.
He has since enjoyed a further four appearances at development squad level, starting the U21s’ 1-0 win at Fratton Park last month against Portsmouth in the Papa John’s Trophy – his first appearance against senior Football League opposition.
Swyer was also part of the U18s side which defeated Luton Town U18s in the FA Youth Cup third round on Thursday evening, opening the scoring with a deft header after just two minutes gone at Kenilworth Road.
Everybody at this Club has played a big part in my development, so I just want to thank everyone
Having been with the Club since he was just eight-years-old, Swyer is delighted to have become a professional footballer at West Ham United a decade later.
“It’s amazing really,” Swyer beamed. “As soon as I joined the Club at eight, it’s all I’ve really wanted to achieve.
“It’s been brilliant here so far. This Club is like a family – it’s all I know. I just want to keep pushing and hopefully, one day, go on to play for the first team.
“I’d like to thank my Mum, of course, and all my coaches past and present. Everybody at this Club has played a big part in my development, so I just want to thank everyone.”
U18s lead coach Keen added: “Kamarai Swyer is a super player. As a scholar for me, he was outstanding last year as a first-year.
“He can score goals, he can create goals, and he’s got a frame which he’s working on to make more athletic, but which could be very useful in Premier League football, certainly in the 2020s.
“I’m really pleased for Kamarai. He works extremely hard, is a great kid, and I’m hopeful that he can come through and be one of those players who makes his way onto the honours wall as a debutant through the Academy.”