Zavon Hines says it is a "big year" coming up and is doing everything he can to achieve his aims of becoming a first-team regular at West Ham United.
The young striker - who has bagged three goals in three pre-season friendlies so far this summer - feels he is growing in confidence and that is giving him a lift as he looks to prove he is good enough for the senior side. "I am feeling confident in myself. After I came on for the first team friendly against Hampton and Richmond the other week and scored, I got a boost from that," he said.
"So I am trying to do that little bit more each time and when I feel confident like that, I believe I can do a bit extra." Hines who has progressed through the youth academy at West Ham United says his target is to become more of a regular part of the first team and knows that if he performs to his best in the reserves, that he might get the chance he is looking for.
"Part of my aim is to make sure I am a regular in the reserves and do well there, but I also want to be more regular as part of the first-team squad. It might be that I would need to go on loan again, if only to get more experience and then be able to come back and get into the first-team squad."
Last season, Hines went on loan to struggling Championship side Coventry and came on as substitute in seven games - one of which saw him score a very important goal against Sheffield Wednesday. "I scored the goal that earned them a point to stay up." He said. "I got a lot out of being at Coventry at loan. When you are young, you have to work hard so the manager will give you that chance and I knew that if I could do my best that it would help when I came back to West Ham."
Hines is also listening to sound advice from his senior team-mates at the club as he looks to catch manager Alan Curbishley's eye. "Anton [Ferdinand] speaks to me all the time. He tells me to just keep on doing what I am doing, try my best and if I can keep scoring, then the manager will be looking and will give me a chance eventually. Anton came through the youth team like me, so he knows what it is like. It is good that he and the other players are speaking to me like this, it helps a lot."
For now, Hines is focusing on the matches coming up and looking to do his best and that includes taking more penalties if he is asked to. Two of his recent goals have been from the penalty spot and he has the taste for more. "I'm no expert and don't usually take him," admitted the 19-year-old. "But because I got a lot of confidence from scoring in that first match, I felt I could take the penalty [against Billericay] and then again at Thurrock.
"If there is another chance in the next game I play, I would definitely like to take one again. The next couple of games, I will be working hard and aiming to get on the scoresheet as much as I can, then hopefully the manager will give me a chance. It is a big year for me. I want to try and improve on every performance and in every match I play. I will be trying my hardest to see what can come out from this."