Frank Nouble is relishing the prospect of a possible first run-out for his new club when a West Ham United XI take on Thurrock on Friday night.
The 17-year-old striker could feature for Alex Dyer's side at the Ship Lane home of the Blue Square South team along with a number of those who played in a 1-1 draw at Cambridge United last Saturday. The most experienced performers on view for the 7.45pm friendly are set to be defender Calum Davenport and midfielder Nigel Quashie.
Also in the frame could be Matthew Fry, Holmar Eyjolfsson, Conor Okus and Cristian Montano - the latter scoring the winner in a first-team friendly at Grays a fortnight ago. Tickets are priced at £8 for adults, £5 for OAPS and concessions and £2 for children. Click here for more information.
Nouble will have no trouble settling in, having come to know many of his team-mates in recent years. "I know some of the young players here from outside of football but also from playing against them at a young age," he said. "The likes of Conor and Matty are definitely going to help me feel at home. It is going to be about hard work and they are going to push me."
He is certainly ready and raring to go after finalising his switch from Chelsea in midweek. He said: "I have been training for the last two weeks so my fitness is up there. I have just got to keep it going and do well whenever I play. I know if I show the fans that if I work hard, I can win them over. You won't see anything less than 100 per cent from me, that's for sure .Hopefully my ability will come through."
The England youth international's first glance this week at the newly-grown Boleyn Ground surface has whetted his appetite."Being here for the first time gives me a buzz," he said. "The pitch looks fantastic and it looks a stadium that you want to make your home. I want to be running out there, scoring goals and doing well for this club. I am excited."
Nouble, who has Ivory Coast ancestry through his father, admitted he harbours international ambitions with England but knows all that matters first is proving himself in claret and blue. "I have played for England at Under-17 level.. Hopefully I can come back into that but my main focus is to work for West Ham.
"I am looking forward to staying here and doing well for this club and nothing else at the moment. My mind-set is always that. I am just eager to get going."