Mick McCarthy says why he released West Ham United's Sam Ford

The former Republic of Ireland boss speaks on the decision.


Mick McCarthy has told The East Anglian Times that Ipswich Town released West Ham United prospect Sam Ford in the belief that his chances of reaching the first team were slim.

The 17-year-old striker signed a one-year deal with the East Londoners last week after impressing during a trial, which was sanctioned by Ipswich, before the Hammers' announced the news by describing him as a 'highly-rated young player' on their official site.

Ford had been a regular for the Tractor Boys at Under-21 level, but McCarthy says that he was released because he and his colleagues determined that the youngster was not good enough for the senior side.

“I hope for him that it does come back to bite us,” he told The East Anglian Times. “And we’ve safeguarded ourselves a little bit with the deal.”

Asked about how West Ham worded their news story of Ford's arrival, the ex-Republic of Ireland boss added: "It’s strange isn’t it? Have I ever signed someone and said they were c**p? No, I haven’t! When you take someone in you always say ‘he’s highly-rated, he’s fantastic, he’s terrific’. You’re never going to say anything different.

“I’m not saying he’s a bad player, he’s just not going to get in our first team. That’s in my view and in everybody else’s’ view. That’s just not me making a one-off decision, that’s everybody.”

He is the latest youngster to have been snapped up by West Ham boss Slaven Bilic, who has also recruited the likes of George Dobson, Martin Samuelsen and Luka Belic.

There could be plenty of incentive for the starlets to impress the Croatian manager, who will not only be taking his troops to their new home in the Olympic Stadium next season, but Champions League football might well be on the agenda.

Bilic's side sit fifth in the Premier League table, one point behind fourth-placed Manchester City.

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