JUST IN : Joe Powell, the Happy Hammer, is anxious to make his mark with Rotherham United.

Rotherham United’s summer signing Joe Powell had to cope with this during his time at West Ham United, a club where young players may be elevated to the status of homegrown superstar.

They were first referred to as the ‘Academy of Football’ in the 1950s, and the name has stayed throughout time, particularly among Hammers fans.Powell, a midfielder, was reared in Canning Town, near West Ham’s spiritual home of Upton Park in London’s east end, and attended the same secondary school as Hammers star Mark Noble.Powell’s older brother Jack was also a student at the Hammers Academy, but he was released as a teenager. He now plays for Crewe.

Joe Powell signs new West Ham United contract
His younger sibling did better. Joe progressed through the ranks and made his first-team debut just shy of his 20th birthday in an 8-0 League Cup victory over Macclesfield Town in September 2018, setting up two goals along the way.It was his sole senior appearance for the club. Powell had to maintain his mental toughness and eventually went on to prove himself far away from his East London beginnings in the Midlands with Burton Albion.

Now, he has the opportunity to help Rotherham make an immediate return to the Championship.It’s the kind of voyage that Noble, one of the most revered football characters of the last two decades, would appreciate. His character, leadership, and resilience shined like a beacon during his time with the Hammers.Powell told The Yorkshire Post: “As football progresses, you lose touch with some individuals.

“But he (Noble) is clearly the type of person who, if I text or call him, will gladly answer.”He’s a fantastic guy, and throughout my time at the club, he was extremely strong in his thoughts, kept his head down (grounded), and was a very excellent leader, as well as a terrific role model for the younger guys.

“He wanted everyone to do well and was definitely a good role model for me, coming through at a young age and eventually making my debut.”Powell’s comments about dealing with the pressures of being a local lad and a student at Noble’s school demonstrate his maturity and bode well.He went on to say, “Both of my older brothers attended that school, and everyone knows who you are.

“There is certainly some pressure involved, but I don’t think you feel it at the moment because you are in such a fortunate position, and many children would love to be in that position.Team news: West Ham United manager David Moyes provides update on Jarrod Bowen & Declan Rice| West Ham United F.C.“You don’t really look at it in that way and you just feel grateful and lucky to be in the position you’re in.”His reaction to being released by his club also suggests a reasonably old head on young shoulders. He is 25 years old, and if all goes well, he will still have his best years ahead.

“It’s part and parcel,” he remarked.

“I had numerous failures as a child growing up, and if you want to elevate yourself to the top, you need to ride those negatives and put

Move it to the back of your mind, but keep it with you since it will only make you stronger at the end of the day.

“I’ve always had a very good support system with family and friends and that definitely helps.”

Powell, a creative midfielder with a knack for free kicks, was not going into the game blind.

Conor Coventry, a former West Ham player who spent a loan spell with the Millers in 2022-23, provided a positive reference for the team.

Other kind messages came from two athletes he knows, who are now teammates. He also had nothing but praise for his manager, Steve Evans.

Powell continued, “I know Conor very well and have heard that he had some positive experiences here and speaks well of the club.

“I also spoke with several of my other teammates who are still on the squad. Again, they have nothing negative to say about the club; it is clearly a very good club.

“Clubwise, I was with Jordan Hugill for a short while at West Ham and Hakeem Odoffin when I moved on loan to Northampton in 2018-19.

“In terms of the coach, I know several players who have played for him.

“In games, he is a really passionate individual, and that cannot be interpreted negatively. He wants to win all the time, which is excellent.

“I have heard nothing but positive things from him, and no one has had a bad word to say about him No one has said anything negative about him, and they have said, ‘Work hard for him and he will do anything for you’.”

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