Sean Maguire is thrilled to be up and running for West Ham United after marking his full debut with the opening goal in a topsy-turvy 3-2 Barclays Under-21 Premier League win over Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The 18-year-old forward has had to wait his turn since making the switch from Waterford United in January, having made just four substitute appearances prior to Friday night.

But now that the Republic of Ireland youth international has a first start and goal under his belt, he is setting his sights on a productive end to an already eventful campaign.

He told West Ham TV: "I'm very happy to be honest with you. It has been a good while coming, before that an ankle injury had me out for about four weeks and I'm delighted now to actually be starting.

"It kicks on from here and hopefully that will be the first of many. I'm looking forward to the upcoming games and hopefully we can end the season strongly.

"I thought I had been training well the last few weeks and the goal was just the icing on the cake. I'm planning to kick on now and get a few more goals before the end of the season."

Maguire needed just eleven minutes to open his Hammers account, showing all his composure in front of goal to seize on a defensive mishap and slot home. It was the highlight of an excellent all-round display for the teenage frontman, who had experienced defender George Elokobi for company in the first half.

He continued: "The goal was a mistake, the defender tried to head it back to the keeper and I thought I'd take a chance and luckily enough it fell straight to me. I took it around the 'keeper, it was a tight angle and it took forever to go in. I was just standing there watching, but fortunately it went in and I was just delighted

"Nick [Haycock] said he was pleased with my performance and personally I thought I did very well. At times I could have done better, I could have held it up better. But it's my first 90 minutes in a while and my calves started to cramp up but I kept going.

"It was a good experience coming up against George Elokobi. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity coming up against a top-class defender. He looks like a rugby player! But he's a very good player as well, so it was good to play against him."

Maguire joins an already strong Irish contingent at the Boleyn Ground and the Kilkenny forward reckons his fellow countrymen have made it a whole lot easier to settle into east London life.

"It's very different to back home in Kilkenny but I think I'm adapting to it well. The lads are all making me feel very welcome. They're all great and I don't have a bad word to say about any of them.

"Joey O'Brien and Stephen Henderson both talk to me as well and I'm really good pals with Eoin Wearen, who has helped me to settle into the club. [Fellow Republic of Ireland U19 international] Kieran Sadlier lives me with in digs, so I couldn't really be any happier."

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