Imagine a world where aspiring young footballers could be taken in as pimple faced teens with a tad bit of bum fluff on their chins and nurtured into complete and successful professional footballers with their airbrushed faces on billboards in countries they have never considered frequenting while they sip cocktails in Ibiza with their significant other, who just happens to be an aspiring supermodel… Well dear friend and reader, such a world does exist in the football realm; although many in our fraternity tend to behave as if young stars pop up at random like a cannabis plant and bring euphoria after being allowed the opportunity to light the scene up. We at GSV have roped in your mate Uncle Bob and asked him to dust off his PhD in Development Football and become the Dean of our newly founded School Of Academies, where we enlighten, inform and entertain you with all the insight he has on development sides across the fraternity. In no particular or meticulous order, for that matter, we present to you The GSV Institutions List.
West Ham United Youth Academy
Location: Romford, Essex, London; England
Development Coach: Nick Haycock
Director Of Youth Academy: Tony Carr
Notable Graduates: Bobby Moore, Sir Trevor Brooking, Michael Carrick, Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard Jr, Joe Cole, Jermain Defoe, Glen Johnson
Fresh Out The Oven: Danny Potts, Elliot Lee, Blair Turgott, Leo Chambers, Matthias Fanimo, Reece Burke
Training facilities: A-
Training methodologies: B-
Opportunities for growth: A-
Dean’s Comment: You know you are doing something right when they start to call you, The Academy of Football, West Ham United have long been heralded as the ideal place to go for any London based lad looking to get a great football education while being afforded the opportunity to maximise one’s potential as a professional footballer, the reputation of the club has spanned far beyond London now and they still manage to attract good young prospects in a more competitive environment. Although sides like Southampton are building manors with larger castle windows lately and Crystal Palace were once guilty of constantly walking across their lavish grounds on their way back from selling off a promising young lad, The Hammers have remained amongst the shining lights in the galaxy of youth development and any side that can produce players that were good enough to make England World Champions is deserving of a slot on our GSV Institutions List any day mate. The glory days may be behind them as many of their London rivals have begun to invest heavily in youth development and there has been an increased focus on home-grown talent being recruited, The Hammers will still produce a steady stream of players into British football and any decent Three Lion’s side will always have an Academy Of Football seal on it.