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Inside the Academy: The Hopes, Highs and Heartbreaks of West Ham United's Youth

Paul Brand, Callum McNaughton

Regular price £18.99

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From the publisher:

Inside the Academy tells the stories of a talented set of footballers spanning a quarter-century, exploring childhood aspirations and what became of them. It lifts the lid on teenage training grounds and what it takes to even come close to being a Premier League player. From Bobby Moore to Declan Rice, West Ham United has a proud history of cultivating young talent.

Yet their 2023 FA Youth Cup triumph came against a backdrop of complaints about congested pathways to first-team football and inflated pay packets quelling ambition. These concerns are not unique to West Ham; they are symptomatic of the modern game. This book offers an insight into what life as a young footballer is really like, via interviews with people who've lived and breathed the game over the past 25 years.

It's a must-read for anyone who wonders why child prodigies don't always become professionals and what happens to those who don't make it to the top.

The author:

Paul Brand has been a West Ham fan since the age of six. Some of the hopes, highs and heartbreaks of merely following the team are documented in his previous book, Fortune's Always Hiding: From Stratford to Seville (2023). Callum McNaughton is a former player who joined West Ham in his early teens, made his debut in 2011 and had a career in the lower leagues before settling down to a new life in America.

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Pitch
22 x 14 cm
Hardback
256 pages
May 2024
English
9781801509794