17 year-old midfielder, Oliver Scarles has signed his first professional contract at West Ham United.
Scarles has made 19 appearances in all competitions this season, of which 16 appearances came in Under-18s Premier League and Premier League 2 competitions in which he scored one goal in each competition, whilst he also made two appearances in the EFL Trophy for West Ham’s U21s.
The 17 year-old has also made his senior debut this season, which came in West Ham’s 3-0 away win against FCSB in their final Group B match in this season’s UEFA Europa Conference League to top Group B unbeaten, having already qualified for the Round of 16.
“This is a great feeling!” Scares commented to whufc.com as he described his emotions upon having signed his first professional contract, as he continued: “It’s a dream come true, signing my first professional contract, and that I’ve done it with this Club makes it even more special.”
Scarles had first joined West Ham in 2016 and is proud of the support that he has received as he graduated through the youth ranks, as he said: “I’ve been here for six years now, and everyone associated with the Club has helped me to develop both on and off the pitch.
“I’m so thankful to everyone in the Academy and at the Club for helping me to achieve my dream.”
Reflecting upon his impressive start to the season after having only signed a scholarship in the summer, Scarles described his journey as “surreal” and having signed his contract on his 17th birthday yesterday (12 December) made the occasion more “special” and “an incredible present.”
Interim Academy manager, Kenny Brown is “delighted” to have tied Scarles down to “professional terms” at the East London club.
Brown proceeded to explain why Scarles has been handed a professional contract just months after he joined on a scholarship, as he commented: “His application and performances for our senior Academy teams have been consistently impressive and the wider West Ham United family got a taste of his talents on his first team debut in the UEFA Europa Conference League in November.”
On what it means to have Scarles part of the Academy for the foreseeable future, Brown added: “Seeing young men like Ollie get that opportunity is what everyone in the Academy works tirelessly for,” and is “eagerly excited” to monitor Scarles’ development across the season and beyond.