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Local Kids Chosen for Elite Soccer Academy Experience in London

Chase Lane, Thato Meko, Alejandro Melendez, Kellen Richardson, and Keegan Ledger

From left to right, Chase Lane (Age 13), Thato Meko (10), Alejandra Melendez (11), Kellen Richardson (10), and Keegan Ledger (12) (Courtesy photo)

Five young players who attend the West Ham Soccer Academy through the Bladium Sports and Fitness Club at Alameda Point have been chosen to attend the National Camp, as well as The West Ham United Elite Player Academy experience in London.

A media release from the fitness club today says that the West Ham United soccer club of the English Premier League has what is arguably one of the greatest youth academies in the world. (Although club officials might cringe at calling it soccer, rather than football.)

The professional West Ham United Football Club is based in Upton Park, East London, and plays in England’s top tier football league, the Premier League. The academy is intended as a feeder network for the professional team.

The lucky five local players are Chase Lane (Age 13, San Francisco), Thato Meko (10, San Ramon), Alejandra Melendez (11, Oakland), Kellen Richardson(10, Alameda), and Keegan Ledger (12, Alameda).

In April, the club will host another West Ham camp for both boys and girls to identify more candidates for moving on to the national and London West Ham camps.

Parents of avid players may be reassured, however. In a YouTube video interview, distributed by the Bladium with the media release, Ian Bishop, a former professional footballer who played for West Ham from 1989 to 1998, advised kids not to follow his path – he dropped out of school as a teenager to play football.

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