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West Ham former star is enjoying life coaching the young stars

PUBLISHED: 12:30 12 October 2017 | UPDATED: 12:43 12 October 2017

Jack Collison with Academy Director Terry Westley

Jack Collison with Academy Director Terry Westley

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Does Hammer Collison want to be the boss one day?

jack Collison is head coach of West Ham Under-16sjack Collison is head coach of West Ham Under-16s

Former West Ham star Jack Collison came through the famous Academy at Chadwell Heath, now he is bringing on the next generation of stars.

Injury cut short his playing career, but after being thrown in at the deep end with Peterborough under-18s, he has come back to the Hammers.

“I spoke to Terry Westley on quite a few occasions and when an opportunity came up, I sat down with him and what he said kind of blew me away,” said Jack.

“The chance to learn from some great coaches and work with some quality youngsters was too good to turn down.”

Jack Collison the West Ham under-16 coachJack Collison the West Ham under-16 coach

Collison already has his A coaching licence and has the task of looking after the under-16 Academy team.

“It is such an important year for the under-16s because they find out if they are going to be taken on or let go.

“It is a group decision, but I will be part of it. I have managed to build up an idea of them, both as players on the pitch and characters off it, which is just as important.

“The match itself is only 10 or 15 per cent of the make-up of any player.”

It was surely a good move by Westley and West Ham to bring in someone who has experienced the ups and downs of life at the club.

Still only 29, what are his ambitions?

“I am still fairly new to the coaching game despite being thrown into the deep end at Peterborough,” he said.

“For the time being, it is just about learning as much as I can and working with these young boys to try and give them a chance of a career in the game.

“There is a really good work ethic here. The under-23s do so much extra stuff before and after training and that has been great to watch.

“They want to learn and get better because they know what is at stake.”

But what about himself? A future West Ham boss?

He laughs: “There will come a time down the line, when I have a try at management,” he said.

“To find something to give you the ultimate highs and lows has been a struggle since I stopped playing and that will be the next best thing.”

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