West Ham United first-year scholar Jamie Harney put his head to good use in Monday's 3-1 FA Youth Cup third-round win at Aldershot Town.

The Northern Ireland Under-17 centre-back was called into action to make a series of aerial clearances during a nervy first half before nodding in the Hammers' second goal with a bullet header midway through the second period.

Speaking to West Ham TV for the first time since starting his full-time scholarship in the summer, the 16-year-old said he has settled in quickly in east London.

"I thought it was a very good start for us in the Youth Cup and a good team effort in the end," said Harney. "It was one of those tough games where we had to dig in as a team and try to dig out the result and I think we did that.

"I think it was a case that some of the players were nervous in the first half, but in the second we showed what we could do and we finally got the victory and everybody was happy with it.

"We had our strongest team out against Aldershot, aside from Leo Chambers who is injured, but I thought we did well as a team and I hope we can on forward now and try to win the FA Youth Cup."

Harney was particularly pleased to score his first goal at Under-18 level when he powered in Nathan Mavila's right-wing corner with 25 minutes remaining.

"I was very happy with it. It was all in the delivery because the ball in was perfect and it landed on my head. I closed my eyes and it went into the back of the net so I was very happy with that one.

"I like my heading so I'll have to try and keep it up in the next round of the FA Youth Cup and try to get another goal."

Jamie Harney

Jamie Harney scores with a bullet header at Aldershot Town

For the teenager, success in a claret and blue shirt will vindicate his decision to leave his family home in Northern Ireland to join the club earlier this year. That said, Harney still gets to meet up with his felllow countrymen regularly as part of his national side, who he recently helped to reach the UEFA European Under-17 Championship Elite Round of qualifying.

"I come from a small village called Plumbridge in County Tyrone in Northern Ireland and I represent my country and play centre-back as most people know. I moved over in the summer and I'm loving it, so I just want to keep it going now.

"I think I've adapted well and am settling in well with the other lads - everyone says that. The other lads have been brilliant and I get on with them really well and love living in the Academy House. I just want to keep it up and push on.

"Leo is a brilliant player and one of the best in the club and nobody likes to see him injured. His absence gives me the chance to start and hopefully I can take it. Let's now push on as a team and see what happens."

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