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Carr highlights talent that's come through West Ham system

West Ham United academy chief Tony Carr is proud of the local element that has come through their youth system.

Today's Premier League clubs scour the world for new talent but Carr told The Sun: "With the odd exception, such as Michael Carrick, virtually all our players have come from east London and the Essex area.

"We have a good system in place but people like Jimmy Hampson have to take credit for spotting the players in the first place.

"Obviously some of the lads who came through are playing elsewhere. One part of me regrets these lads left West Ham but circumstances dictated that. I look at them and I'm proud that the club played some part in their development.

"Rio (Ferdinand) was always an incredibly jovial lad. If something funny was going on in the dressing room, Rio was normally at the centre of it. When it came to football, he always worked very hard. Class player.

"I still call Frank Lampard young Frank, even though he's nearly 31.

"Even in the youth team, Frank took his football very, very seriously. He was almost in a rush to get out of the youth side and into the first- team, which is no bad thing.

"Joe Cole had to deal with an incredible amount of expectation from an early age. Some players may have struggled with it but Joe is such a lovely, down-to-earth lad and dealt with the pressure well.

"In many respects, Michael Carrick benefited from Joe getting all the attention and was able to develop at his own pace."

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Tribal Football Staff

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