Put your questions to West Ham's Tony Carr

West Ham Academy Director Tony Carr

West Ham Academy Director Tony Carr

Tony Carr has overseen the development of so much English talent that he must be near the top of Fabio Capello’s Christmas card list.

In his 37 years at West Ham United – which has seen him progress from part-time youth team coach to Academy Director – Carr has helped nurture the careers of England regulars Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, John Terry and Glenn Johnson, whilst Jermain Defoe, Michael Carrick and Joe Cole also spent their formative years under Carr’s tutelage.

After almost four decades in charge of one of English football’s most prolific production lines, Carr is being rewarded with a testimonial game next week, when an ‘All Star’ team of his academy graduates will take on the current West Ham team at Upton Park on Wednesday 5 May.

Club Website will be catching up with Tony this week in the build up to his big game and we want to give you the chance to put your questions to him.

So, if you’d like to ask Tony a question about his time at West Ham, the talent that he’s helped to develop or the secret to being a great youth coach, now’s your chance!


Thanks for all your questions – please don’t post any more as we won’t be able to put them to Tony. A round-up of the interview will be published shortly.


West Ham United logoAcademy All Stars v West Ham United

Tony Carr’s testimonial takes place at Upton Park on Wednesday 5 May. Kick-off is at 7.45pm.

Carr has lined up a stellar cast of his star pupils to form his All Star XI.  He has spoke to all of the players concerned and all have agreed to play, subject to their respective club manager’s decision.

Tickets start at £5. To find out more, or to purchase tickets, please click here.

Images courtesy of West Ham United FC.

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Dan Pope
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Freelance writer, editor and copywriter, with a passion for grassroots sport. A right back turned football writer, Dan is the former editor of Club Website and has been lucky enough to work in the field of grassroots and community sport for the last 10 years.

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  1. Bob T on April 26, 2010 at 11:23 am

    Great idea. Could you please ask Tony any/all of the following:

    1. Who was the best young player Tony has worked with?

    2. At what age can you really tell who’s going to be able to cut it at the top of the game?

    3. Has he ever turned a young defender into a star striker or vice versa?

  2. Paul Mortimer on April 26, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Hi Tony
    In your opinion at what age should a boy be at a professional club ? and do former profssionals make the best coaches ?

    Cheers PM

  3. […] Put your questions to West Ham's Tony Carr « Club Website – News …In his 37 years at West Ham United – which has seen him progress from part-time youth team coach to Academy Director – Carr has helped nurture the careers of England regulars Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, John Terry and Glenn Johnson, … […]

  4. dave cottam on April 26, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    please could you ask tony the following:

    has he seen or heard of the matrix soccer training academy run by charlie jackson ?
    what are his thoughts on the matrix ?
    the matrix is technical training as charlie jackson devised the course to improve technical play from grassroots to professional
    why does tony think the matrix is backed by uefa but not the FA.?

  5. Rob Bailey on April 27, 2010 at 7:21 am

    Firstly,can you thank him for all the good work he has done for the Hammers,England and me-I have used his books etc for years!
    Can you ask him what he thinks the most important development in coaching has been in his time at West Ham ?

  6. paul horton on April 27, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    what gives you the most enjoyment you have had at the academy, the players that have gone on to play for the first team or the players that have gone on to play for other teams in the lower leagues.

  7. Mark on April 28, 2010 at 9:42 am

    I would like your opinion on football for children at the age of 10.
    Coventry children play in the John Bryan Minor League: a 7-aside game lasting 50 minutes with rolling
    unlimited substitutions at this age group.

    Squads can be up to 14 players, but tend to hover around 11 players, meaning 4 substitutes.
    Although this is a competitive league do you believe that all children who sign up to a team should be provided
    with a fair opportunity to play matches?

    Do you believe it is acceptable for managers to play “substitutes” for a token 5 minutes a match?
    Is this fair on children? Would children enjoy football if they were playing for 5 minutes?

    With two halves of 25 minutes each, it is relatively simple for all 4 players to play 25 minutes and others for longer.

    There are two schools of thought.

    1. This is a competitive league and we only play our best players. We have to play to win (at all costs).

    2. The whole point of the league is for children to enjoy the game. Ten year olds are not professionals. They pay to play and are no paid to play.
    If a child is not deemed to be good enough, he should not be signed up, but encouraged to play for team in a lower league. If he is signed up he should be
    treated as part of the team and play a fair amount of time in matches. To expect a child to give up 2-2.5 hours on a Sunday to play 5-10 minutes football
    is ridiculous and does nothing for the enjoyment of a child. It dejects a child and will not enjoy the game.

    Your views are appreciated.

  8. Gary Sargent on April 28, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    I truly admire Tony and the coaching work he has done. Can you ask him how he has been able to unearth these great talented players over the years, who have gone on to be tremendous players and why West Ham have been so short sighted in being unable to keep them!

  9. Adam Loveday on April 28, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    1. Who is the bestest youngest West Ham player so far?

    2. Was it great to turn the likes of Joe Cole, Jermaine Defoe, Freddy Eastwood, Kieran Richardson etc.. into good outstanding professional players?

    3. Will you be continuing to stay at West Ham for a long time?

  10. Sean Philpot on April 28, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Hi Tony, We have a lot of talented youngster at Apollo FC in Torquay.
    What is the best way to get them in front of a Premiership Scout?

  11. leighton rennison on April 30, 2010 at 8:28 am

    tony i have just got involved with my sons u7,s team and feel i understand the game well, im about to take my leval 1 and would love to become a scout . what would be my best way ?

  12. Club Website on April 30, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Thanks for all your comments everyone. Please don’t leave any more as we won’t be able to put them to Tony.

    Details of the interview are on the way soon!

    The Club Website Team

  13. Sam Gleadle on December 29, 2010 at 4:56 am

    Hi i used to live in england and moved to america for dads work. I’ve played soccer (football) my whole life and play for the best club in america U15 boys. The Scottsdale Blackhawks 96 and was wondering if you could have a camp in Arizona? or close by? thanks for your time,

  14. adam underwood on May 15, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Matrix is apoor second to coerver skils programme.Its far to complicated and looks like some circus act.It gives little in terms of decision making in fact I have seen it confuse players.Playing a SSG 2v3 4v4 will give you far more in term of realist game play

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