Sears pledges future to West Ham
Hammers striker Freddie Sears insists that the West Ham youngsters can make their mark in the Championship next season and he is hoping to play plenty of matches.
Hammers striker Freddie Sears has pledged his future to the club and is desperate for the chance to prove what he can do next season.
The 21-year-old Hornchurch-born West Ham fan has had an up and down season. Seemingly in the wilderness out on loan at Scunthorpe earlier in the season, he was suddenly recalled by manager Avram Grant and plunged into the first team at Fulham on Boxing Day.
Not only that, he was selected to play on the right side of a three-pronged attack, coming through with rave reviews as the Hammers grabbed an unlikely 3-1 away victory.
However, after Sears had looked good, starting six matches as West Ham’s form improved in January and February, Grant suddenly decided to discard him again in favour of Gary O’Neil’s experience.
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It was a strange decision and one that Sears did not appreciate at the time, but after the agony of a drop into the Championship, the youngster is looking towards his future chances.
“As a West Ham fan I want to play for this club,” he insisted after Sunday’s 3-0 defeat by Sunderland.
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“Relegation might give me a better opportunity to play week-in, week-out.
“There is probably more of a chance for me to play for this club in the Championship rather than the Premier League. It could go one of two ways, I could play every game next season, or the new manager could come in and bring in new players.
“But hopefully we can keep some of the young boys and have a real go next year.”
Sears hasn’t been at the club for the entire season, but he was quick to hold his hand up and admit that the entire squad did not perform well enough.
“It’s been disappointing,” he said. “We have been near the bottom all season so we can’t complain.
“We have been out of the relegation zone a couple of times, but we kept falling back down there. Overall, we have just not been good enough this season.”
Sears would like to see the club retain as many of their star names as they can, but he accepts that it is the youngsters who may have to bear the brunt of the work next season.
“I’m not sure we need a complete overhaul,” he said. “We should try and keep as many players as we can, but it’s going to be hard. The more senior players will probably move on to be honest, but hopefully we can keep a good core of players and have a real go next season.”
Sears is just one of a seemingly never-ending conveyor belt from the West Ham Academy, and he believes that anyone stepping out of the Academy will be well prepared for the rigours and pressures of the first team.
“You look at the boys they have brought through over the years. Tony Carr has done a great job and he is still bringing through the boys and when they make the step up it’s not hard, he said.
“They are ready, they’ve had two years in the Academy and a scholarship with Tony Carr. It makes you hungry coming through that and you just want to get on the pitch and do well.”
If the expected exodus happens at Upton Park, then players like Sears and a whole host of other Academy boys, may well have to show that they have what it takes.