By Andrew Maddox

8th Jul, 2022 | 9:10pm

West Ham United fans should be excited as Archie Woods pens professional contract

West Ham United have announced that Under-18s starlet Archie Woods has signed his first professional contract with The Irons.

The 18-year-old midfielder has been a regular fixture in the club’s impressive Under-18s team since 2020, making 43 appearances in the U18 Premier League in total.

West Ham announced that Woods had signed his new deal on Wednesday 6 July via their website, while also confirming he will be promoted to the Under-21 squad.

Last season saw him make his breakthrough to the club’s Under-23 side, playing twice in the Premier League Cup.

The club did not share the length of the contract in their announcement, only that he will be going professional.

Woods profiled

Woods mainly plays across central and defensive midfield, though he does have limited experience in defence and wide midfield.

He has always been a key cog in any team he has played in, previously captaining the club’s Under-15 and Under-16 teams.

Woods is not an especially creative player, scoring twice and assisting once across his time with the Under-18s, but he is a defensive rock.

The club’s Under-18s had a massively improved 2021/22 season, finishing second in the U18 Premier League South after finishing 10th the season before.

During that run, Woods missed just three games all season and captained the side twice against Arsenal and West Brom.

He helped lead West Ham United to an amazing 16 wins when he was on the pitch, losing just four times all season long.

With how comfortably he handled the jump to Under-18 football, it can be expected that he can carry that form into the Under-21 side next season.

Woods offers genuine potential for the future as Irons fans look for their next hometown hero, so they should absolutely keep an eye on him during next season.