Academy Manager Ricky Martin has explained how West Ham United is continuing to support and develop all of the Club’s promising young players during the ongoing break in fixtures.
With all elite football suspended until at least 30 April, the Academy has devised bespoke programmes for every young player and age group who would normally attend Chadwell Heath training ground for the bulk of their development.
Players remain in close contact with the Academy’s medical, fitness and sports science staff and their training schemes have been tailored specifically to support individual's physical and mental development and welfare.
“To keep our Academy players prepared, we’ve set individual programmes for the players all the way down the different age phases,” Martin explained. “In the PDP (Professional Development Phase) – the Under-23s and the Under-18s – their programmes are a lot more physical-based, where they can use their own bodyweight and do exercises on their own at home or in public spaces, such as parks, not requiring a gym.
“For our [younger] schoolboy players, we’ve got a bit more technical and tactical work for them as well. They have some skills work to practice on their own, but they’ve also got tactical tasks to learn things on a computer programme we use - Coach Logic.
“Through this platform, they can watch games, complete questionnaires and work on some observation tasks, keeping them stimulated and active in their learning.”
I am certain that our young players, our young people and our staff are doing everything they can to help and support people in their local communities at this delicate time
While the situation remains fluid, Martin and his team of staff continue to take all necessary precautions to provide flexible and pragmatic support for everyone involved with the Academy of Football.
Martin said: “At the moment we’re working on a week-by-week basis with a view to there not being any fixtures until the end of April, as per the current information.
“We’re going to keep alert to all possible situations and be ready to support our players, our staff and our families to provide them with programmes while they’re away from the Academy, getting them ready to return to action, safe and healthy.
Martin also spoke proudly of his belief that the characters which comprise the Academy of Football are doing everything they can to be caring citizens in their respective communities.
“The Academy sends out all our support to our neighbours and our communities,” he continued. “I am certain that our young players, our young people and our staff are doing everything they can to help and support people in their local communities at this delicate time.
“We have some fantastic young people in our Academy and they do some great work both on the pitch and off the pitch as well.”