WHO Poll
Q: 2021/22 What competition should we prioritise this season?
a. The league is our bread & butter, so this year let's have a club sandwich
24%
  
b. We're owed an FA Cup after Gerrard nicked our last one in 06, our name's on it in 22
9%
  
c. A bye to the League Cup 3rd round gives us a good start, let's make it count
5%
  
d. The Europa is our best ticket to the Champions League, this is the one
37%
  
e. What's wrong with you, let's do the lot, has the quadruple ever been done
25%
  



Irish Hammer 12:18 Wed Sep 15
Sonny Perkins - Academy boy doing well. Worth a read.
Sonny Perkins: West Ham’s 17-year-old who is dreaming of first team and already has hat-tricks for club and country

Whenever Sonny Perkins looks out of his bedroom window he is immediately drawn towards his daily motivation. His eyes remain locked on the London Stadium and as he stares into the distance, he cannot help but visualise the moment his dream will become a reality.

The West Ham United youngster lives in Hackney Wick with his family and is a key player for the club’s under-18s. Perkins’ long-term target is to play at the London Stadium and given his trajectory so far it won’t be long before he fulfils that goal.

The 17-year-old scored a hat-trick for Kevin Keen’s side in their season opener against Reading and already the left-footed attacking midfielder looks set to better his goalscoring tally from last season, when he scored five goals in 23 Under-18 Premier League appearances. In the 3-1 loss to Southampton’s under-18s, Perkins played as a lone striker, with Divin Mubama sidelined through injury, and it was Perkins who often initiated their attempts on goal.

Perkins and his team-mate Jacob Knightbridge were recently called up to England Under-18s for their international friendly against Wales. Perkins started the 1-1 draw, while Knightbridge was brought on in the second half. It has been a rewarding time for the academy, with promising defender Jamal Baptiste earning a call-up for England Under-19s, while Harrison Ashby and Brian Kinnear received call-ups for Scotland Under-21s.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Frank Lampard and Gareth Bale were Perkins’ footballing idols when he was younger. The playmaker initially joined Leyton Orient when he was seven and regularly played in the older age groups. When Perkins progressed to the under-14s, the youngster was considered advanced for his age — and his performances caught the attention of academy coaches.

At this point, Russell Slade was at the helm and Leyton Orient were challenging for promotion to the Championship. But when Francesco Becchetti bought the club in July 2014, they were in a lot of debt and it was not long before they were selling some of their up-and-coming prospects.

Perkins, who turns 18 in February, was on Manchester City’s radar and the youngster was given a one-week trial. He travelled to Croatia to link up with their under-15s but received a lack of game time in the four fixtures they played. After that disappointing experience, Perkins was keen to stay locally and be with his family.

This alerted West Ham, who also gave Perkins a one-week trial. He played two games, one against Fulham, and the young midfielder scored in both matches. Former academy director Terry Westley led the negotiations with Leyton Orient. After agreeing a compensation fee, Perkins joined West Ham on his 15th birthday. He was given a tour of Chadwell Heath and went out for a family meal to celebrate.

Since joining, he has continued to impress staff behind the scenes with his work ethic. Aside from his goalscoring ability, Perkins is known for being very determined. There are also high hopes for Mubama, Knightbridge, Regan Clayton and Freddie Potts, who has been promoted into the under-23s early.

A standout moment in Perkins’ fledgling career was the hat-trick he scored while on international duty in February 2020 during England Under-16s’ 4-1 win against the United States in the UEFA Development Tournament at St George’s Park. Mubama scored in England’s first game of the competition against Denmark, and the duo played an important role in England winning the tournament.

“Originally I was on standby,” Perkins said, “but I found out I was going about four days before the camp, so I was obviously very excited and grateful for the opportunity.

“The Denmark game we won 4-0 and I managed to come on for 15 minutes at the end, but against USA, I started the game in midfield, played 90 minutes, and thankfully scored three goals!”

Due to the quick turnaround of fixtures, there was little time for Perkins to celebrate — but he was allowed to keep the match ball. Perkins keeps that ball in his room and a month ago he added another to his collection thanks to those three goals against Reading. Ricky Martin, the academy manager, congratulated Perkins on his performance and his team-mates signed the match ball.

There has been plenty of optimism about the potential of some of the young talents at West Ham’s academy. Knightbridge was part of the first team’s pre-season training camp in Scotland, Potts played in the pre-season friendly win against Leyton Orient and Baptiste lifted the Betway Trophy following the 2-0 win against Italian side Atalanta.

David Moyes and his backroom staff have shown a lot of interest in the youth set-up. They regularly attend fixtures and have regular contact with Martin, Keen and under-23s manager Dmitri Halajko. The next step for Perkins is to progress to the under-23s, although he has his sights set on something much higher.

“Leyton Orient were good for me when I was younger, but it was a big challenge to come to a club like West Ham,” he said. “There are so many good players here and obviously good coaching as well. Gerard Prenderville, my mentor, and all the other coaches do a lot to help me improve and have as big an impact on the team as I can. Everything they do for me, I’m really grateful for.

“The dream is to reach the first team one day, but I’m just taking each game as it comes, and hopefully one day I can make it there.”

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

PwoperNaughtyButNot 8:07 Wed Sep 15
Re: Sonny Perkins - Academy boy doing well. Worth a read.
Let’s hope he can go a little bit further than sonny pike

Thanks Irish 2:11 Wed Sep 15
Re: Sonny Perkins - Academy boy doing well. Worth a read.
As always Thanks Irish

madeeasy 1:10 Wed Sep 15
Re: Sonny Perkins - Academy boy doing well. Worth a read.
Sorry forgot to add

thanks Irish

madeeasy 1:10 Wed Sep 15
Re: Sonny Perkins - Academy boy doing well. Worth a read.
I wish they would let these kids have their home fixtures before our home games, open up the turnstiles early and let the fans in to watch them for free. people would then not only spend extra money at the ground and help their concessions, but then the fans would get to see the new fresh young talent coming through and would drive to keep the kids at the club with the support and familiar surroundings.

I played a game at Roots hall one night for a local team before they played a home fixture and it was great, scored a great goal as well.

Anyway get the kids to have a 1pm kick off before a 3pm game and let the fans in. There is more than enough space by the sides of our fucking pitch for the players to warm up...





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