Lee looking forward

Olly Lee has spoken of his delight at being named in Gianfranco Zola's matchday squad for the first time.

The 18-year-old midfielder was named among the substitutes for Tuesday's 3-1 Carling Cup second-round win over Millwall at the Boleyn Ground.

Lee, who signed his first professional contract with the club in the summer, revealed that he had found out he was in the squad from assistant kit manager Pete Williams.

The son of former Hammers and England midfielder Robert Lee was on his way out of the club's Chadwell Heath training ground when Williams instructed him to check the squadlist pinned to the club noticeboard, handing him a welcome, if unexpected, surprise.

"It was nice to get the call and be on the bench and just be around the atmosphere of a West Ham versus Millwall derby," Lee told WHUTV. "It was nice to be involved, even though I didn't get on.

"I had actually gone in and done a weight session and Pete Williams told me that I was in the squad. I didn't even know. The kitman told me to look on the board and I saw my name up there, so I was delighted.

"The manager said that if I got on, I should just do my best. Obviously, I didn't get on, but it was good game and a good result."

While Lee was not called into action against the Lions, he has completed two full matches this week at reserve and youth team level.

On Wednesday, he helped Alex Dyer's reserves to a 2-0 friendly success against Dagenham and Redbridge. Last Saturday, Lee played the full 90 minutes as the Under-18s opened the FA Premier Academy League season with a 2-1 win at Everton. The youngster expects Tony Carr's side to have an impressive season.

Lee is also eager for the new Barclays Premier Reserve League South season to begin with a trip to Aston Villa on 1 September - a game he intends to start.

"It was a good run out for me [against Dagenham and Redbridge]. It was the second 90 minutes I've had this week as I played for the Under-18s on Saturday. It was good to get more game-time and I feel a lot sharper now and I'm looking forward to Aston Villa.

"The lads played well on Saturday. They're a good bunch of boys at that level. Tony has got a good side there, so they should do well this season. It was nice to be in there and help them out.

"I want to get into the reserves, playing every game, hopefully, and see if we can push on."