1. Can you tell the Hammers fans reading this a bit more about yourself?
Erm… My name is Leo Chambers. I’ve been at the West Ham academy for 5 years so far, so this will be my 6th year. I’m from South London, and I’ve been living there all my life. I’ve been involved in the England set up since u16s and thats about it.
2. What team do you support?
This is sort of an awkward question for me, haha. Well, I support whoever is winning. I’ve got a reason for that though. When I was a little nipper, me and my Uncle were very competitive with one another as he was just 4 years olders than me, and at the time, it was the ’Arsenal vs United’ era, where one season, Arsenal would win the league and the next, United would. Anyway, no matter what team I would support, the other team would win the league and it got to the point where I said to myself “If I support whoever is on top of the league, I could never lose” and I’ve just got into that routine. so at the moment, I support City. Whether it remains the same at the end of the season… who knows. Is that poor by me?
3. I’ve heard you’re the next James Tomkins… Is that true?
Erm… I wouldn’t say im the next James Tomkins. People probably say that because we play in the same position and I’m currently in the West Ham youth system, but I wouldn’t say im the next James Tomkins because I dont know how he was at my age, on and off the field, so I cant compare myself. He’s a great guy. Whenever we are around him, he says morning to the lads and does what he gets paid for professionally and also shows great professionalism off the pitch which sets a good example for the lads coming through West Ham now. I wouldn’t mind becoming the next James Tomkins though!
4. I’ve spoken to fans who watched the match against Chelsea and they’ve said you’re very composed on the ball – have you ever played in any other positions?
Yes, I’ve played in every position except from GK. I earned my first contract at West Ham as a striker. Then a season or two in, I found myself playing in the centre of the park, wide left, wide right, left back, right back… you name it. But I think the conposure comes from the technical drills we used to do in training at a young age. Every training session we used to do technical drills and I’ve just become comfortable with the ball at my feet. Message to the youngsters… practice practice practice!
6. How did it feel to captain the England team on your debut?
It was an amazing feeling. Even just to play for England is incredible but to captain the squad on that evening just seemed a bit surreal at first, but as soon as I stepped into the dressing room to get ready for the game, it was strictly business from then on. The night never ended too well as we lost but the night definitely goes down as one to remember.
7. Any news on Dylan Tombides and his recovery?
Dylan is currently getting back into things as he is in the gym gradually easing himself back on to machines such as the bike work. He’s shown great character and he’s receiving tremendous support by everyone at the club which I guess is giving him courage and strength. He’s a great lad and we have definitely missed his presence on the pitch and in the dressing room, more so at the beginning of the season as he’s still showing his support at every game possible. Please continue showing your support for Dylan as he really appreciates it.
8. What other players should we be looking out for from the Academy?
There is quite a few. You already know about the likes of Robert Hall and Daniel Potts of which have earned a few appearances in the first team. But there are players such as Elliot Lee, Mathius Fanimo, Blair Turgott, Dominic Vose, Taylor Miles, Jack Powell, Kenzer Lee, Jack Young, Kieran Sadlier, Frazer Shaw and Jake Larkins. There are a few unfortunate ones such as Dymon Labonne and Declan Hunt. They are both out for the season due to knee injuries but have the squad support and are quickly recovering considering the injury. As I’ve got the opportunity I want to give a big mention for Taylor Miles and Kenzer Lee. Two players which have previously lacked in confidence, but this season have come out of their shell and have been instrumental for us this year. You could compare Taylor’s game to Scott Parker as he works his nuts off for the team and tidies the play up for us. Kenzer is my centre half partner. He’s quality at what he does and deserves a lot of credit for our success this year.
9. Do you think the team is confident about gaining automatic promotion?
As a club, we are very confident that we will gain an automatic promotion place by the end of the season. The atmosphere in the camp is high at the moment and we tend to keep that feeling going for as long as possible. We also appreciate the support we are getting from the fans which I could imagine gives confidence to the players.
10. Which one player would you love to come up against?
One day, I would love to come up against Wayne Rooney. He’s an all round player, so he would test me to the limit. Ive got a lot to add to my game before I realistically think about competing with him!
11. What’s an average day in the life of Leo Chambers?
An average day for me is getting up early, travelling to training for a 9:30 start. Have lunch and either go home and rest or have a gym session. Its quite routine but they are the sacrifices you have to make to get what you want in life.
12. And finally… Where do you see yourself in the next few years?
In the next few years, i hope to be in around the first team but that’s the main long term goal. I prefer to tick off short term goals and see where they take me.
Find out more about this Hammers youngster by following him on twitter at @Leochambers5.