Kaelan Casey says signing his professional deal with West Ham United is something he has dreamed of ever since joining the Club.
Having become a Hammer at just five-years-old, defender Casey has worked tirelessly at the Academy of Football and progressed through the age groups. The youngster reaped the benefits of that hard work earlier this month, signing his first professional contract.
“It’s a proud moment for me and my family,” Casey told West Ham TV. “We’ve worked really hard for a long time now and it’s good to get this pro contract.
“I’ve been here a long time and I feel like it’s another step to where I want to be. It’s what I’ve dreamed of ever since I was a kid. To get that pro contract is amazing.”
The centre-back shared the moment with some of his closest colleagues. Casey has been with midfielder George Earthy and defender Regan Clayton during his entire West Ham career, and signing a professional deal alongside his close friends made the moment even more special.
“I joined when I was five-years-old. It’s been a long time, going to Chadwell Heath every day. A lot of travelling, my parents taking me. Since then I’ve come up through the age groups, played well, had some ups and downs, and it’s all come to now and I’ve got this pro contract.
“Me and George Earthy have both been here since we were five and come through every age group, so it’s special to do it with him.”
Casey was a vital component in the U18s side that claimed second in U18s Premier League South this season, playing 27 times in all competitions and scoring twice.
The defender is hopeful he can continue his fine form into the new campaign as he seeks to earn a place in the U23s side.
“It was a very good season,” he added. “It was a good group of boys we had. On and off the pitch, everything was good. We came second in the league and just missed out on top spot, but we did well.
“Personally, I thought I was quite consistent this season. Most games I felt I did well. There were a few games I could have done better, but hopefully the coaches saw what I can do and what I can bring to the team.
“I’m looking forward to being back playing. I miss it and can’t wait to be back for pre-season. I can’t wait to do all the hard work.”