Sonny Perkins wins the 2021/22 Dylan Tombides Award

Perkins: It’s an honour to win the Dylan Tombides Award

Sonny Perkins was humbled and honoured to be named the winner of the Dylan Tombides Award at the 2021/22 West Ham United Player Awards. 

Perkins has enjoyed an excellent campaign in Claret and Blue, starting the season in the West Ham United U18s and progressing into the development team, before making his senior side debut away to Rapid Vienna in the UEFA Europa League group stages in November. 

The 18-year-old scored 13 goals in 27 appearances at U23s level this season, as well as netting four goals – including an opening-day hat-trick – in five games for the U18s.

Perkins’ eye for goal and finishing prowess was a significant factor in Mark Robson’s development team securing second place in Premier League 2 Division 1.

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.

I think everybody in the Academy knows it’s an important award, so it means a lot to me.
Sonny Perkins

“It’s an honour to win an important award for the qualities it’s about, and also an important person, somebody who tragically lost their life and obviously a talented player as well,” Perkins said.  “I think everybody in the Academy knows it’s an important award, so it means a lot to me.”

Perkins’ dynamic progression this season caught the eye of first-team coaches, with the forward regularly training with David Moyes’ senior squad. The attacker would make his debut away to Rapid Vienna, before earning his first West Ham start at home to Dinamo Zagreb on a famous night for the West Ham United Academy in early December. 

The teenager has been named in five Premier League matchday squads this season and made his English top-flight debut in January, coming on as a substitute in the home fixture against Leeds United.

Sonny Perkins v Derby County


Perkins has been thrilled to play a role in the immensely successful campaign the first team have enjoyed this past year.
“I think it’s been exciting,” he continued. “Around the whole Club it’s been exciting, but for me personally to be involved in it, even a little bit, just to get a taste of what it was like, to have a good individual season.

“I think it’s great for me to get some opportunities to be around it from the manager, I’m just very grateful.”

In Club captain Mark Noble, Hammer of the Year Declan Rice and Young Hammer of the Year Ben Johnson, Perkins can see the pathway from the famed Academy of Football to becoming a regular in the West Ham senior squad. 

Sonny Perkins with sponsors


The Dylan Tombides Award winner says each of these individuals, and others in the first team, have been helping him every time he’s worked with the first team at Rush Green.

He added: “There are people in the first team who have come through the Academy. Obviously, everybody knows what Mark Noble has given to the Club and what a servant he has been to the squad, and obviously Declan Rice more recently, so there are people there who know what it’s about. 

“Those guys are obviously very good at helping the youngsters and making sure they’re grounded as well because the know you have to be grounded to make it.”

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