Robert Hall is hoping for another taste of the first-team picture when West Ham United travel to Wigan Athletic on Saturday.

The forward, who celebrated his 19th birthday last Saturday, was one of four Development Squad players who made the matchday squad for last weekend's 4-1 defeat of Southampton. Hall said he, Leo Chambers, Jordan Spence - who came on as a late substitute - and Matthias Fanimo were all delighted to once again be part of the senior squad after all getting varying degrees of first-team match action earlier in the season.

"When four of us Development Squad lads are in the squad it makes it all a lot more comfortable because they are boys you have been with for a while. Obviously the first-team lads are great and they make you feel a part of it but it is nice to still be able to have those little jokes you have in the Under-21s.

"It is great being there together and helping each other up the ladder."

The youngsters have all earned their place in Sam Allardyce's plans following the Development Squad's stunning start to the Barclays Under-21 Premier League season. Hall has scored four times already for this season and came close to opening his senior account when he hit the crossbar during the Hammers last meeting with the Latics - a 4-1 Capital One Cup defeat at the Boleyn Ground last month.

"The season has been very busy and exciting so far because the Barclays Under-21 Premier League has made reserve football a lot more interesting. I have also been lucky enough to make my top-flight debut this year so to play in the Under-21s, the Capital One Cup and then the Premier League has been very hectic.

"Going out on loan last season and having two spells at Oxford United and one at MK Dons has definitely helped my development. You learn a lot being out there on your own because you are not at the club that is yours and you can only learn things which you can bring back to West Ham."

Hall's only Barclays Premier League action came in the 3-0 win against Fulham but he has found himself as a regular on the bench in recent weeks as injuries to Matt Taylor and Ricardo Vaz Te have provided an opportunity to some of Big Sam's squad players.

"You do not wish injuries upon people but at the same time if it allows me an opportunity then I am going to have to be mature and brave enough to step up. I can only keep working hard in training and listening to the older lads to make sure I learn more and more day by day."

The Development Squad currently sit top of the Barclays Under-21 Premier League Group A ahead of Friday night's 7pm meeting with Everton at Rush Green, which is FREE for Season Ticket holders, £3 for Adults and £1 for Under-16s. With first-team commitments the priority, it might be that Hall is forced to miss the game but knows that his team-mates will still deliver under the guidance of Development Squad manager Ian Hendon.

"As a team we know that Hendo will make us take it on a game-to-game basis, which is working at the moment. Like myself the other lads have had busy schedules but we are managing ourselves well with the medical staff and with Greg who warms us up and cools us down.

"We can only thank the people we work with everyday when we do get into the first-team and get that opportunity to pay them back."

Hall was also only too happy to play his part in an enjoyable disabled fans' forum on Tuesday night at the Boleyn Ground alongside Guy Demel and Sam Allardyce. Around 50 supporters fired questions at the trio, with Hall joking that he could be in trouble for some of his answers.

"Me and Guy Demel answered some very funny and some very nice questions from some lovely people so it was very entertaining.

"They made me feel very comfortable so it was a very nice evening. People often talk about giving something back to the people that support you and respect you so doing things like this is something I enjoy doing.

"There was some funny questions in there, the one that I had to bring Carlton Cole and George McCartney into was a particular highlight.

"Coley will definitely say something to me but it is great to see them having a good time and for them to know me and want to ask me questions is really nice as well."

*For a full preview of Friday's Development Squad match, please click here. The match will take place at Rush Green Stadium, formerly the old Sports and Social Club, in Rush Green Road, Romford, Essex, RM7 0LU.

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