With Boro’ battling to maintain their Football League status, manager Graham Westley turned to Dan Kemp at the end of the January 2020 window. The lad – billed as a “diminutive attacking midfielder or winger” – came to us on loan from West Ham United for the rest of the 2019-20 campaign. Not that we wanted to put any pressure on such young shoulders, but we needed goals. And capturing the services of the highly-rated Kemp was a huge boost; our hopes in need of a lift at a point where there was ground to be made up in the table.
Dan Kemp: Before Boro’
Kemp had started catching the eye already, so we can only imagine that we had to see off at least some competition to land him. After moving across the smoke from Chelsea in late 2015, he’d worked his way up the Hammers ladder. By the time he came to us, he was in fine Premier League 2 form; scoring eight times in 15 outings, with a couple more tacked onto his 2019-20 tally thanks to goals in the Leasing.com Trophy. He was also part of the Hammers’ U21 side that lifted the 2016 Premier League Cup.
In addition to his club honours, Kemp turned out at both England U19 and U20 levels.