West Ham United FC have signed the Republic of Ireland Under-21 goalkeeper David Forde from Welsh side Barry Town AFC.
The 21-year-old trained with the east London club for two weeks at the beginning of the year and comes at a cost of €123,000. He was recommended to manager Glenn Roeder by his Barry counterpart, Kenny Brown, a former West Ham player.
Forde turned down a number of clubs to sign for West Ham, including Harry Redknapp's Portsmouth FC, and he told the official club website he is confident he can make the leap from the League of Wales to FA Premiership. "There is no point coming just to play in the reserves," he said. "I'm looking to make the first team, though obviously I am a great admirer of David James, who I regard as the number one for England in the [FIFA] World Cup. I have always looked up to him and hopefully I can learn from him."
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