Player Profile - Conor Coventry - West Ham's "most exciting" youth prospect

Player Profile - Conor Coventry - West Ham's "most exciting" youth prospect

A CLOSER look at one of West Ham's hottest prospects.

When you hear about a composed, hard-tackling midfielder playing for West Ham that is both eligible for Ireland and England, we'd understand if you started having a bit of PTSD.

But we won't put Conor Coventry in the same bracket as Declan Rice yet.

The young Irish international is currently making waves at a West Ham team that is, amazingly, not far away from Champions League qualification.

While this is good for his club, it has meant that he is slightly further away from first team football than he may have imagined. If The Hammers were battling relegation, his services may have been needed more often.

But for now, he is busy lighting up the Under 23 league, and captaining the side on a regular basis.

You watch him for a few minutes and immediately think - leadership. He is so vocal on the pitch, and you get the impression that this wouldn't change even if he was playing in a side full of stars.

And everything he is doing for that young West Ham side, he has also done for Ireland and Under 21 level under the now-senior team's boss Stephen Kenny.

He was a mainstay of Kenny's midfield, and regularly impressed on cold nights in Tallaght Stadium a few years ago.

On 10 October 2019, he received the Man of the Match award in a 0–0 draw with Italy under-21s at Tallaght Stadium, where he shared a pitch with young players who have gone on to have successful careers already.

And we can't go through this piece without properly addressing the Declan Rice-shaped elephant in the room.

He is London-born, but has no doubts about who he wants to represent at international level, and he hasn't since he first got the call up to a youth team.

In an old interview with The 42, he said: "I knew straight away then. If I didn’t know, once I played, it confirmed it. Straight away, I just fell in love with playing. So there was no question of where I wanted to play."

That's a relief...

Well known fanpage West Ham Central were quick to sing Coventry's praises when asked, saying: "He’s the next best thing from our a academy for sure! Excellent composure and leadership, a real old head on young shoulders."

However, unsurprisingly, it's still unlikely for him to walk into the first team over the next 12 months.

He said: "I think he should go on loan to a championship side next season. Soucek and Rice are the mainstay in our midfield right now so I can’t see a way in for him besides from cup games and I want him to play weekly

"Next season I’d like to see him starting for a top half Championship team, getting some real experience of first team football and growing even more to be ready for our first team in 2 or 3 years time."

This wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, as loan moves to the Championship can often be the making of young, raw talents.

Stephen Kenny recently called him up to the senior side after Conor Hourihane suffered an injury, but he didn't get on the pitch.

Though based on what we're seeing from him lately, it won't be long until he lights up the Aviva in a green jersey.

Make sure to check back on Monday for another player profile!