West Ham United sign Scotland U21 international goalkeeper Brian Kinnear
West Ham United is pleased to announce the signing of Scotland U21 international goalkeeper Brian Kinnear.
The 20-year-old, who came through the ranks at Rangers, joins the Hammers’ U23 squad after completing a successful trial with the Academy of Football and putting pen to paper on a contract until the summer of 2022.
The Glasgow-born stopper, who featured in the Irons' recent pre-season draw with Aldershot Town, is looking forward to continuing his career in east London.
I can’t wait to get started. It’s just like being at home to be fair, so it’s been good
“I’m really happy to be here, I’ve been on trial for a bit and I’m just happy to get it over the line and I can’t wait to get started,” Kinnear told West Ham TV.
“The first day I came in I thought I did really well and then they asked me to come back in and then that was me, I was happy then.
“It’s a change, obviously having to move away from home, the first time I’m having to do that. I’m coming from a big club like Rangers up in Scotland – coming down here to a great club especially coming from one, you don’t usually get the chance to move to another one, so I’m happy to be here.”
A member of Steven Gerrard’s UEFA Europa League squad last season, Kinnear played for Rangers’ youth and B sides and also enjoyed senior experience during loan spells with East of Scotland Premier Division club Camelon Juniors and Scottish League Two side Annan Athletic in the previous two seasons.
“I first went out on loan when I was 18, it wasn’t the best level but it was to roughen you up and then my last loan was to League Two in Scotland, so you’re actually in the divisions at the point,” he recalled. “The standard was better but then again it’s still you come for crosses and the elbows are there, it’s still toughening you up. It’s been good to get that experience and learn from it.”
Despite having only been down south for a few weeks, the Scot already feels at home at West Ham, having moved into the Academy House, where his Scotland U21 squad-mate Harrison Ashby is among his fellow residents.
“They’ve been great with me – I knew a couple of the boys before I came down, Harrison is in the Scotland setup as well,” he confirmed. “I moved into the Academy House and all the boys and staff have been brilliant with me.
“It’s just like being at home to be fair, so it’s been good.”
A confident and commanding presence, Kinnear believes he has a skillset that he can develop with West Ham’s respected goalkeeper coaches, with his immediate goal being regular starts for Dmitri Halajko’s side.
“I’m big strong, athletic, pretty good at shot-stopping which is a good thing to be as a goalie, I’m good with the ball at my feet, but all round good,” he said, with a smile.
“I’m really looking forward to it. The goalies you’ve got here are world-class and I’m hoping I get the opportunity to go around and train with them and see how they do it.
“For me, my short-term goals are to get consistent game time moving forward and taking it step-by-step. I don’t want to look too far into the future, I have more short-term goals and hopefully I can push on and see what happens.”
Everyone at West Ham United would like to welcome Brian to the Club and wish him every success in Claret and Blue.