English Premier League side, West Ham United have announced that Ghanaian goalkeeper Joseph Anang has signed his first professional contract with the club.
The 18-year-old stopper has put pen to paper on a three-year deal which sees him commit his future to the Hammers until 2021.
Having joined the Club as a Scholar in July 2017, Anang had to wait patiently for his debut whilst international clearance was obtained, but gained valuable experience and insight last season when he trained regularly alongside first team goalkeeper Adrian and the senior squad.
The teenager was naturally delighted to sign his first pro terms and looked ahead to working even harder to progress further in east London.
He said: “Today is a very proud day for me. It has been a long time coming for me but 100 per cent, everything I have worked for so far has been worth it for this day.
“It hasn’t been easy for me. From when I came to West Ham and every day since then, I have worked very hard. For me, I have just concentrated on doing that, working hard and doing my job and seeing what happens.
“So to sign today is a great day for me and I’m very proud.”
Anang joins youngster and fellow keeper Nathan Trott on the long list of hot prospects coming through the Club’s youth ranks and follows Dan Kemp, Moses Makasi and Grady Diangana – who all put pen to paper in recent weeks – in securing a new deal this summer.
“Today is a great day for me and I’m very proud. I have worked very hard, and I need to keep doing that, doing my job and see what happens” Joseph Anang said.
The stopper went on to praise a number of key figures at the Club who have already influenced his career in a positive way and looked ahead to working with the Hammers’ new stopper, the experienced Polish international Lukasz Fabianski.
“Adrian last season – and Joe Hart – were both a big help for me, on and off the pitch,” he continued. “I have learned a lot from them and although I still have a lot to learn, I am grateful to them both for their help.
“I am looking forward to continuing to work with those kinds of figures at West Ham, and of course to meeting Lukasz Fabianski and hopefully learning a lot from him too – he is a very experienced guy.
“I want to thank Terry [Westley], Liam [Manning], Steve [Potts] and Mark [Phillips] who have all helped me at the Academy, and also JJ [Jerome John] and Billy [Lepine], who have already done so much for me as goalkeeper coaches.
“Next year, my aims are to be playing for the club’s U23s but there are great goalkeepers already at this Club, so it depends on how hard I work and that I can show people I’ll continue to improve as a goalkeeper.
“In the future, of course, the long-term ambition is to become a first team player here but I have to start from where I am now, keep working hard every day and hopefully those aims will one day be achieved.”