Nathan Mavila has plenty of ambition - ambition to make it as a top-class professional footballer and ambition to set the record straight about his native Brixton.

Born and raised to Congolese parents, the summer capture from Wycombe Wanderers captained both south and inner London as a schoolboy.

A versatile full-back or winger, the first-year scholar has a maturity that belies his 16 years. Mavila has settled quickly at West Ham United and he knows what he wants to achieve in the game.

"I'm from Brixton and I started out playing for a club called Afewee Urban when I was seven or eight, where I was team-mates with [West Ham team-mate] Leo Chambers. I've lived in Brixton all my life.

"I got scouted by Wycombe when I was in Year Seven in 2007 and I was there for five years. Other clubs came in for me and I went on trial to Chelsea but didn't get in. I have come to West Ham because of the reputation the club has.

"I want to thank the Wycombe scout Michael Carnegie, assistant manager Richard Dobson and the first-team manager Gary Waddock for what they did for me and my development.

"I'd also like to thank my teacher from Sacred Heart School Richard Lasiquot and my dad Mr Muanda Mavila.

"I was attracted to West Ham because of the opportunities available at the club and also because I knew a few of the people here. I didn't just want to go somewhere and not feel at home. London is closer to home but, at the same time, it's easy to feel not at home.

"I think I am just finding my feet at the moment and trying to do my thing. I want to push on and, if I do really well this season, then I want to push on into the Development Squad next season."

Mavila's comfort at his new club has been evidenced by his fine start to life in a claret and blue shirt. The left-sided player has started twice and appeared in the opening four Barclays Under-18 Premier League fixtures, scoring his maiden goal in a 4-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion.

He has been deployed as a winger ahead of left-back Frazer Shaw, but revealed he can play anywhere down the flank or even wide on the right.

"At Wycombe I was a left winger until Under-15s, but they told me the Under-18s needed a left-back and asked me if I wanted to play there and I said I would give it a try. I played there for two seasons and the club see me as a winger again and I'm enjoying it.

"I get on well with Frazer and he talks to me a lot on and off the pitch. We've got a good relationship, as I have with Josh Siafa when I play on the right."

Like many left-sided players, Mavila is a massive fan of Chelsea and England's Ashley Cole: "All my life I have watched him. He is top-drawer in terms of his attacking and defending. He is consistent and I think he's a good role model and a leader.

"I think I've got more things to work on myself. I can improve my movement and strength and my defending because, having moved on to the wing, I have lost those habits a little bit and I need to get them back. I also need to offer a bit more in the final third."

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