West Ham maintained their lead in the Under-21 Premier League thanks to a 1-0 win over Everton on Friday night which moved them six points clear of second placed Arsenal.

The Hammers have always relied heavily on their academy and have a reputation as being able to bring through a number of talented individuals who have gone on to have great success for both club and country.

George Moncur
George Moncur [Twitter]

A quick look around the Premier League shows former West Ham players at some of the top sides in the country. Liverpool can call upon Glen Johnson and Joe Cole, Manchester United have Rio Ferdinand and Michael Carrick, Tottenham rely heavily on Jermain Defoe for goals and Chelsea have the midfielder with the most goals ever in the Premier League in Frank Lampard.

Even the current West Ham side often features on former academy players in Mark Noble, Jack Collison and James Tomkins. It is a tradition that the club is proud of and it seems likely to continue for some time.

The latest batch of youngsters seems to be producing once again. It is perhaps no wonder when we see that there are three players whose dads also represented West Ham at some point in their careers.

Against Everton it was Elliot Lee that grabbed the headlines as he scored the only goal of the game, superbly heading home a cross from Blair Turgot.

The 17-year-old is the son of Rob Lee, the former England international who played more than 700 games in a career that saw him become a club legend at both Charlton and Newcastle.

Unlike his dad, a hard-working midfielder, Elloitt is a striker who has shown great promise in the youth ranks at West Ham and is a regular for the Under-18 side. However, he has made the step up to the Under-21 side this season and already has one goal in his two appearances.

Lee was not the only son of a former player in that side as George Moncur and Daniel Potts also played the full ninety minutes against Everton.

Moncur, whose dad John was at West ham for close to a decade, impressed last season while sent on-loan to AFC Wimbledon where he managed to score two goals in his 20 appearances.

Capped at Under-18 level for England, Moncur is a box-to-box midfielder who has been an ever present in the Under-21 side this season, making nine appearances and scoring one goal.

The third youngster hoping to emulate his dad is Daniel Potts, son of Steve who joined the West Ham academy back in 1983 and did not leave the club for 19 years, making over 400 appearances in all competitions.

The 18-year-old full-back has already managed to break into the West Ham first team and earlier this year made his debut for the England Under-18 side in a 3-0 win over Poland.

He has made five appearances for the Under-21 side this season, further highlighting his ability which saw him win the Young Hammer of the Year award in May 2012.

Having been diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of 12, Potts overcame the illness and was given the all clear when he was 16. Now he will be looking to further cement his place in the first team squad under Sam Allardyce.

All three players will be hoping to continue the rich tradition of the East End club and become regulars in the first team in the coming years. They certainly have the pedigree and a fantastic youth team coach in Ian Hendon who will hope that the trio can help the Hammers win the inaugural Under-21 Premier League.