Izzie Busy At Brisbane

Izzie Iriekpen finally makes his competitive bow in professional football after nearly coming on for West Ham at Old Trafford in the Premiership - playing for Leyton Orient against Peterborough in the LDV Vans Trophy.

It may be nearer a 670 than a 67,000 crowd to see it happen, but Izzie, who has joined the O's on a month's loan, says: "I have definitely been waiting for my first competitive action after that moment at Old Trafford."

It is nearly three years since Harry Redknapp was beaten by the final whistle as he ordered him to remove his tracksuit and looked to bring him on in the final seconds of the game.

Injury has since curtailed his career, but now at last he can enter the professional first team frame - albeit in somewhat different circumstances.

"I never look back on things in football - though I would have been the youngest player to play for West Ham in the Premiership," he says.

"But I was just happy to be on the bench and couldn't say too much at the age of 16!

"It is time now to be playing some league football to get some experience, so if there is any chance of me playing in the first team at West Ham the gaffer won't have any doubts about putting me in.

"It will be different playing in front of crowds as opposed to in the reserve games. You get good players in the reserves but it will be something else playing league football."

Talking of the decision to go to Brisbane Road, he adds: "It is only down the road from me, so I can still live at home. I know they are struggling but they have played good football without having the chances to score.

"So hopefully if I get the chance to stop the goals, we will get a couple at the other end.

"Maybe other clubs were interested but they didn't really phone West Ham to see if I was available; Orient came in and wanted me to come and play for them.

"It is still playing league football at a high level so this is not a comedown and it will be a tough challenge."

Peterborough have Adam Newton and Jimmy Bullard - described by Posh boss Barry Fry, with typical bombast, as "the best player outside the Premiership" this weekend - in their squad, and Izzie adds: "I could be up against Jimmy Bullard and Adam Newton. I think they had a good result at the weekend and I will look forward to playing against my old friends.

"Jimmy was good at West Ham; there are some good players in that division so we will have to see how it goes tonight.

"Hopefully if I do well I will be able to get my chance at West Ham or go to a higher club first, like Glen Johnson who has gone to Millwall."

Izzie has been given by West Ham clearance to play in the FA Cup as well.