Welcome to the latest series from everyone’s favorite, Brace The Hammer. Over 20 writers ranked 32 youth players (21 and under) for West Ham United. We ranked them by assigning each player a max of 20 points, down to 1. The top 15 averages made our list.
Every day, leading up to the start of the season, we will be bringing to you our top fifteen youth academy prospects for West Ham United. Here to kick things off, Daniel Kemp.
Daniel Kemp came to us from Chelsea’s youth academy at the age of 16 in November of 2015. The young winger signed a one year scholarship contract ahead of a three year professional. Daniel, still just a boy, was just excited to be moving forward with his footballing career, and put emphasis on making his family proud. He told WHUFC.com:
"I'm over the moon to have signed for West Ham. It's a great club and I can really see a good pathway and a positive culture here," he told the club's website.
"Today is a very proud day for myself but also my Dad, Mum and sister. All I look to do is make them happy.
"Speaking to Academy manager Terry Westley, it sounds like they've been watching me for a couple of years. It was about trying to find the right time to move, now I'm here I'm so pleased and really looking forward to my future.
He wasn’t wrong about Terry Westley, who in the coming years would take a massive chance on the lad, and it would not be wasted.
Kemp wasted little time making an impression at the club. In his first season with the U18s and U21s, he managed to bag four consecutive goals, including one against his former club, Chelsea. His impressive first season with the development Hammers made Terry Westley take immediate notice.
In his 2016-17 campaign, Westley took a chance on the young winger everyone was talking about. Daniel Kemp was moved up the PL2 squad. Once again, Kemp did not shy away from the challenge and quickly became a favorite of Westley’s. His aggressive and smart play on the wing helped clinch promotion for the PL2 side, scoring three goals and plenty of assists.
2017 has been a massive year for Dan Kemp. The young Hammer, and now Lion, was called up to play for England in what is now called the Toulon Tournament. Kemp’s progression as a player for West Ham’s U23s has certainly grabbed the attention of England bosses. Kemp made his debut for England on May 29th and aided in a 1-0 effort against Angola.
Daniel is intent on looking forward towards more appearances and making a lasting impact.
“I want to kick on now and play a lot of games for England and keep moving forward. England won the tournament last season and it’s an excellent competition, so it’ll be an amazing experience and I’m over the moon.”
Oh and in case you were wondering, England did go on to win the tournament, with Dan Kemp right there in front, heaving up the trophy.
To put the England shirt on and play for your country is an incredible feeling and to go and win is amazing. The feeling at the end was pure joy.
Dan made three start for the Lions during the tournament, which is impressive for a first timer. He will certainly have plenty to look forward to as his career is just only getting started, both for the Hammers, and for England.