West Ham full-back Ryan Fredericks has said he owes everything to the Hammers’ London rivals, Tottenham, the club who really got his career started.
The 26-year-old swapped West London for East this summer, joining West Ham on a free transfer from Fulham. However, his road to the Premier League has been a long one, playing for the likes of Brentford, Millwall, Middlesbrough and Bristol City along the way.
However, with the Hammers set to play Spurs in tonights Carabao Cup clash at the London stadium, Fredericks has taken the time to thank this evening’s opponents for their part in his career.
“Tottenham is where it all started for me, really” the Fredericks told the Official Programme for tonight’s game.
“I joined Spurs at 14, so that’s quite late relative to most players. I started out with my local club Potters Bar United, then I went to Barnet, but their Centre of Excellence closed, so I moved to Arsenal, but it didn’t work out there, so I went to Spurs and I was 21 when I left.
“The coach who converted me from a winger to a full-back was Tim Sherwood, who was managing the Under-21s at the time. I got on well with Tim, he taught me a lot and he pushed me to go out on loan and get that experience, first at Brentford and then at Millwall, where I first played senior football as a full-back.
“I learnt a lot there and had some good coaches, both in the Under-18s – Alex Inglethorpe and John McDermott – and at the time I made the transition to senior football – Tim, Chris Ramsay and Les Ferdinand – who taught me everything I know.
“They converted me from an out-and-out winger into an attacking full-back, which is probably how I’ve made it to the highest level.
“I think if I had stayed as a winger, the way I was playing back in the day, I don’t think I’d have made it to the Premier League, so I owe a lot to that club.
“But obviously I’m a West Ham player now and my affiliations with them are long gone.”
Fredericks has made four appearances for West Ham so far, scoring one goal.