West Ham United have announced that England Under-18 international Kyle Knoyle has signed a new contract at the Upton Park outfit.
The right-back, who joined the Academy as a 13-year-old, has signed a contract that keeps him with the Hammers until June 2017.
“I’m delighted," Knoyle told the West Ham United official website. "It’s something I’ve always dreamt of as a kid.
"It’s an honour to get a contract at a Premier League club, I’m just looking to push on and make the next step to the first team.
“I’ve been at the club for a while. Getting a professional contract was always the aim, ever since I arrived here. It’s been a great five years so far and hopefully a good future too.
“It’s definitely one of my career highlights. I was delighted when I got my scholarship but this is a step up.”
Knoyle is an attack-minded full-back with bundles of pace and has made a total of 18 appearances for both U-18 and U-21 squads at West Ham. He would have played more often if he didn't pick up an injury midway through the season.
“I feel like I’ve coped with the step up from U18s to U21s very well," he added.
"I did it the previous season which made the step up this season a lot easier.
“The injury was probably my lowest point in my career and I’m trying to get back to the level I was at before it. I’ve felt like I’ve put in a lot of good performances recently so hopefully I can keep that going into next season.
“I would describe myself as a quick right-back who likes to get up and down the pitch. I’d like to think I’m good at one-on-ones, overlapping and crossing. A modern day full-back really.”
When he was still an U16 schoolboy, West Ham saw the potential in Knoyle by giving him half-a-dozen U18 starts. He made his England U18 debut in a friendly international with Hungary in October 2013.
In the first-team, Knoyle will hope to one day challenge for a starting berth at right-back. Joey O'Brien is also competing for the defensive slot, while loan star Carl Jenkinson shone in the role this season after joining from capital rivals Arsenal.
It will be interesting to see who The Hammers find to replace Sam Allardyce and whether the incoming manager will show faith in youngsters.