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West Ham United teenager Harrison Ashby earned the praise of Gillingham coach Paul Raynor after a Man of the Match performance during this week’s EFL Trophy clash, via Kent Online

What a week it’s been for the Hammers. 

And we don’t just mean David Moyes’ senior squad, the one that saw off London rivals Tottenham Hotspur at the London Stadium before bringing an end to Manchester City’s five-year stranglehold on the Carabao Cup. 



No, West Ham are a club who, at every single level, are ticking along like clockwork right now. 

Their U23s battered Manchester United 6-0 on Saturday, their U18s put five past Aston Villa on the very same day and, in midweek, a team full to bursting of exciting academy hopefuls swept aside a grizzled, experienced League One outfit with minimal fuss in the EFL Trophy. 

19-year-old Ashby was the difference maker at Priestfield, scoring the opener and setting up the second with a gorgeous, Kevin de Bruyne-esque through ball for Thierry Nevers.

Not bad for a right-back. 

Do West Ham have a future star in Harrison Ashby?

“He played very well, along with a lot of performances from the West Ham boys,” Gillingham assistant Raynor said of the Scotland youth star, the son of Priestfield legend Barry Ashby. 

“What I liked about them was they’ve got a bit of aggression. 

“You see some of these U21s and U23s academy players, it’s all very technical, it’s all very slow but I thought they had real pace about them, they had aggression about them. 

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“We can overpower teams at times in League One, we felt as though we might be able to overpower them with our physical presence and our energy but they dealt with that, they had a real physicality about them and a real composure on the ball. 

“I’m sure the staff at West Ham will be absolutely delighted with their performance. Young Ashby did well but there were a number of players who caught the eye as well.” 

Dmitri Halajko, West Ham’s U23 coach, was similarly enthusiastic after the game, hailing the ‘tremendous’ defensive trio of Jamal Baptiste, Aji Alese and Emmanuel Longelo after a performance which suggested that the future may be as bright as the present at the London Stadium. 

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