West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper House hopes loan spell will help earn new professional contract
Brad House wants to play professional football for as long as possible and feels his current loan spell with Chippenham Town will only aid his development.
The 19-year-old from Worthing is on loan to National South Chippenham from West Brom, where he has been for the past four years. House previously had spells with Portsmouth, Charlton and Arsenal after starting his career with Worthing United.
House, who is in his second season as a pro with Championship side West Brom, admitted last year was a frustrating one as he was in and out of the Baggies’ under-23 side but he feels playing for Chippenham will benefit his game.
West Brom have ten goalkeepers across their first team, under-23s and under-18s but House - who is out of contract in the summer - hopes strong displays at Chippenham will help him earn a new deal.
He said: “I’d love to stay at West Brom, they’ve made me the player that I am today.
“I’m in my fourth year now and to be able to extend it for another year or two or three would be ideal for me. If I have a good six months at Chippenham and they (West Brom) see potential in me and that I could be suitable for the first team in a couple of years, then who’s to say they won’t give me one early.
“All I can do at the moment is focus on playing well and put my name out there in case West Brom don’t keep me and then I’ve got my options open to make sure other clubs are interested.”
House still trains with West Brom during the week and on Tuesday and Thursday evenings with Chippenham.
He said: “The way I look at it is I travel up and down the country to play football. To go home from here to Worthing to see my family is a three-and-a-half hour drive, so just under two hours to Chippenham isn’t a lot for me.
“To do the travelling and play a game of football is ideal. It’s very busy, a lot of driving and a lot of travelling but hopefully in the long run it will be worth it.”
On how the loan spell has been going so far, House said: “It’s been good.
“The stand-out game for Chippenham so far was my debut against Torquay. We won 1-0 and I got a clean sheet but it was a real eye-opener.
“Under-23s football is a lot about development but then you’re going out on loan and playing football with men who are on the line for contracts and get paid to win.
“To be a part of that is something which will seriously benefit me.
“I’m not too sure what will happen when the loan is up in January.
“I don’t know if Chippenham will want to keep me and sign me on for another six months or whether West Brom will want to send me out on a higher loan or whether I’ll go back to West Brom and play under-23 football.
“But going out on loan is probably the best thing to do at such a young age.”
House admitted he has already noticed the differences between under-23 football and playing in National South for Chippenham. He said: “At Torquay we were 1-0 up and I caught the ball in my box.
“It was in the last 20 minutes of the game and in 23s football I’d get it down and play, so I played it to my centre-back. He booted it straight down the pitch, turned round and said ‘don’t ever do that again’.
“This is a real good learning curve and a good experience. You’re going to get hit in non-league and coming away with a black eye from my debut summed it up.”
As for the future, House admits an England call at any age group level would be a huge ambition but his main goal is to play professional football.
He said: “I’ve just got to focus on playing and doing the best I can and the motive is to play professional football for as long as I can.
“I’d love to play for my country, that’s the ultimate dream and it’s the highest of the highs you can get but at this stage, all I can focus on is playing well.”
In years to come, House will be back in Worthing. He said: “I love Worthing, it’s my home. A few of the lads I know play at Worthing and I’ll go and see them sometimes. Worthing is where I’m going to be when I’m retired.”
Have you read?