Filed: Monday, 8th October 2012
By: Willis Jamieson
WHU U18s 0-1 Blackburn Rovers; WHU U16s 3-2 Blackburn Rovers
As a result of his knee injury, Jack Collison has been out of first team action all season. On Saturday he used his spare time today to go back to Little Heath, where he made his name at the Academy, to support the youth teams in action against Blackburn Rovers.
The two Academy teams had mixed success with the under 16s coming back brilliantly from a goal behind to win 3-2. Sadly, the under 18s went down 1-0 in a close battle against their Northern opponents.
Collison said it was his first time back for a while but was impressed with the technical ability and skill of the youths and said he would try and get back again to show his support while he is out injured. He was looking forward to seeing the "kids coming through".
It was a tough match and the young Hammers were fortunate to go into the break still level with Blackburn having enjoyed a large amount of possession.
The home side did have a couple of chances; the best of the first half being after Josh Cullen won a free kick on the edge of the Blackburn penalty area and Sadlier saw his effort just tipped over the bar. The defence worked very hard with Cheye Alexander at right back being the standout player of the half, tackling strongly and trying to get forward.
The second half was more positive for West Ham and it brought back good memories for Collison who said he loved his time here from when he joined at the age of 16. The midfielder spoke about a couple of great goals he scored on "the pitches where it all began" as a youth and was enjoying watching the attacking display.
Kieran Sadlier and Nathan Mavila caught Jack’s eye a number of times. Sadlier, with his close control through the middle cut into the box a couple of times only to see his shots blocked. Mavila caused Blackburn problems on the wing, with one particular piece of skill where he drew the defender in, dummied the ball and let it run down the line before getting the cross in, leading an impressed Collison to joke "I might have tried that on FIFA".
Sadly, despite the improved second half it would be Blackburn who would snatch the win. Aa low cross was stabbed home at the back post past a faultless Sam Baxter in the West Ham goal to send the visitors home with three points.
The under 16s had a better result as they came from behind to win 3-2, Collison particularly enjoying a (calmly taken) penalty from Lamarr Douglas after the goalkeeper tried to put him off. Ahmed and Marcio Martins scored the others.
As Collison left for Upton Park to watch the game against Arsenal he said he had been "really impressed" with the work of the first team this season and the way they have "picked up some excellent points" in the games so far.
"My injury has been frustrating," he said, "but I hope to be back sooner rather than later. If the boys can continue to do well I look forward to getting back in to a successful team".
Until then, he hopes to use his free Saturdays to see a few more of the Academy games.
My thanks go to Jack Collison for taking the time to share his thoughts on the game, the Academy and his progress - and I hope to see him back in the first team soon.
I'm alright Jack: Willis meets West Ham's number 10
Willis Jamieson may also be found on Twitter at twitter.com/WillisJamieson.
Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.
by charlotte taylor
11:28AM 28th Jan 2013
''I love Jack Collison,. he is totally GAWGUSSS!''
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