West Ham ace eyes 'big season' for both club and country

Wednesday 05 Aug 2015
Reece Oxford is hoping to impress in the Europa League
Reece Oxford hopes his performances throughout pre-season will propel him into West Ham United’s Premier League squad.

The 16-year-old has burst into the first-team fold since the arrival of Slaven Bilic in the manager’s hotseat earlier this summer, becoming the youngest player in the club's history when he made his debut against FC Lusitans in the Europa League at the start of July.

Further appearances in Europe and during friendly matches have followed, and ahead of the Hammers' league opener against Arsenal on Sunday, the England Under-17s captain hopes he has shown his new boss what he is capable of.

“I have had a lot of games and am just trying to take it step-by-step each time I go out there,” Oxford told WHUFC.com.

England Under-17s captain Reece Oxford

Reece Oxford captained the U17s last season

“I am trying to learn from every game but it is great for me to get the experience.

“It really helps me when I am playing at the Boleyn Ground because the fans are always on your side and with experienced players like [Mark] Noble and [Cheikhou] Kouyate around me, they can only help me how to play.

“The start of the new season has come around really quickly but I have played in a lot of games and hopefully I will be fit and ready.

“I think the new manager is very good and likes to get things done properly.

Oxford and his West Ham team-mates travel to Romania this week where they will attempt to progress further in the Europa League.  

Reece Oxford and his Young Lions team-mates will discover their U17s World Cup fate on Thursday

Having been held to a 2-2 draw at home last week, Oxford says the Hammers will be going all-out for victory against AFC Astra Giurgiu on Thursday.

“We are going to go there and have the mindset to win the game. Hopefully we can get through to the next round.

“It is great for us to play against different teams overseas and experience the different kind of atmospheres.”

Oxford was skipper of the Young Lions side that qualified for the FIFA U17s World Cup in Chile, which will be held in October. And with the draw for that taking place on Thursday, the youngster has a big few months ahead.

“This is a big season for me, for both club and country, and hopefully I will do well," he said.

By Gary Stonehouse Staff Writer