Search

West Ham youngsters learn valuable lessons

PUBLISHED: 15:00 14 December 2016

West Ham under-12s lay a wreath at the Truce Tournament in Belgium (pic Steve Hawkins)

West Ham under-12s lay a wreath at the Truce Tournament in Belgium (pic Steve Hawkins)

Archant

Under-12s compete at Truce Tournament in Belgium

West Ham under-12s in action against Paris Saint-Germain at the Truce Tournament in Belgium (pic Steve Hawkins) West Ham under-12s in action against Paris Saint-Germain at the Truce Tournament in Belgium (pic Steve Hawkins)

West Ham United under-12s were one of four British clubs to compete in the Premier League Truce Tournament in Ypres, Belgium at the weekend.

Academy teams from Crystal Palace, Blackburn Rovers and Manchester City alsotravelled to the World War One battle site to play against opposition from France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

The young Hammers progressed to the semi-finals, after finishing second in a group which included Blackburn, Paris Saint-Germain and Club Brugge, before losing to eventual runners-up Manchester City, who were beaten by Anderlecht in the final.

And the players Aalso completed an educational field trip to Plugstreet Wood, the site of the Christmas Truce of 1914, which saw fighting temporarily cease as troops played football in No Man’s Land and exchanged gifts.

West Ham under-12s in action against Blackburn at the Truce Tournament in Belgium (pic Steve Hawkins) West Ham under-12s in action against Blackburn at the Truce Tournament in Belgium (pic Steve Hawkins)

They also explored a replica British trench and bunker system at the Passchendaele 1917 Memorial Museum and visited the Tyne Cot War Cemetery which houses 11,954 graves of fallen soldiers and the Langemarck German Cemetery, where 44,000 soldiers are interred.

Squads also visited the Menin Gate memorial to the missing, where respects were paid with wreath laying and a Last Post ceremony.

Martyn Heather, the Premier League’s head of education, said: “We’ve always been very keen to develop holistically rounded people and I think that developing their skills off the pitch, as well as on it, is crucial.

“Tournaments like this are not just about the football, they’re about taking the players out of their comfort zone. They can see the horrors that men not much older than themselves faced in the First World War just over 100 years ago.

“What was quite pertinent was players visiting the graves of former players from their respective club, it just made it so much more relatable.

“The reason we centre the tournament around the Christmas Truce is because we want the players to understand that football is a universal language, and despite the aggression and horrors of war, on December 25, 1914, that was put aside, and we want to learn from that and instil those qualities in these young players.”

Dave Johnson, West Ham United’s head of coaching for under-nines to under-14s, added: “For us, the educational element of the trip has been just as important as the football, in fact maybe more so.

“We’ve had a fantastic insight into what life was like as a soldier, and the hardships that they faced to survive. It’s really struck a chord with our lads and that’s what we wanted.

“Every headstone we looked at had a different story. There were fallen soldiers from South Africa, Canada and Australia, soldiers from different religions and different beliefs and it just underlined the scale of the conflict.

“Our philosophy at West Ham is, of course, about creating good players, and we have a good history of that, but we also want to create good people, educated people, who understand their history.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford Sports News

26 minutes ago

The latest news from the Thomas McCurtains GAA club

08:54

Raiders completed a four-point weekend with success in south London on Sunday to maintain their hold on fourth place in the table.

Yesterday, 12:00

Dagenham & Redbridge boss John Still was pleased with the fight his team showed but believes they left it too late in their defeat to Sutton United.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Raiders moved into the top four of the National League with a fine win over long-time rivals Bracknell at Lee Valley on Saturday.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Judd Trump insists rival Kyren Wilson got lucky after he was dumped out of the Dafabet Masters in an enthralling battle at the Alexandra Palace.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Chicharito scores vital equaliser as the points are shared at the London Stadium

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Hornchurch moved seven points clear at the top of the table, with a game in hand, after a hard-fought draw at fourth-placed Dereham.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Vanarama National League: Sutton United 2 (Wright 57, Bolarinwa 61) Dagenham & Redbridge 1 (Okenabirhie 84)

PROMOTED CONTENT

Window and conservatory specialist Ken Rhodes talks about the possibilities for brightening up your home for the new year, and with their home improvement finance deals it’s possible for everyone to make some changes

Lisa and Jennie are cousins who grew up in the borough. Their grandmother, ‘Nanny Fish’ was a huge part of their lives, and while she had dementia and increasing needs, she really benefited from having care in her nephew’s loving home. This experience was the inspiration for Lisa and Jennie to set-up their own home care service.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now