Wearen enjoys debut

Former Gaelic football star Eoin Wearen thoroughly enjoyed his rough-and-tumble reserve-team debut for West Ham United.

Wearen was a child-star in his native Republic of Ireland and was offered the chance to join Dublin's Gaelic football team before opting to pursue a career in English soccer a year ago.

The midfielder, who turns 17 in October, put in an impressive display in Tuesday's defeat at Aston Villa, enjoying a physical battle with the hosts' Isaiah Osbourne. Wearen's strong performance earned praise from reserve-team manager Alex Dyer.

"It was a feisty game and I enjoyed it," Wearen told WHUTV. "There were tackles flying in all over the pitch. It was the type of game I like. It showed a bit of passion and the physical part of the game. That's what you want as a player, especially when the referee lets the game flow.

"Whenever you come into a game like that, my background in Gaelic football definitely helps because I'm physically able to cope with it."

Wearen grew up in the Irish capital, splitting his time between playing Gaelic football for Dublin-based St Fiachras and soccer for the famous St Kevins Boys club, who also produced the likes of former Hammer Liam Brady, Damien Duff, Ian Harte and Stephen Carr.

"I come from north-central Dublin, not far from the centre of the city. I've been here just for a few months now and am enjoying every minute of it, particularly this season, I'm getting the chance to push on and show my worth to the people above me.

"It was a great experience for someone my age to play at Villa Park. It's the type of thing you want, to be pushing on and making your name for yourself."

As well as showing his worth to West Ham, Wearen is also eager to continue making his mark at international level.

Having appeared for Ireland at Under-17 level, the youngster is hopeful of being included in his country's squad for their upcoming UEFA European U19 Championship qualifiers against San Marino, Albania and Italy in November.

"This is my first Under-19 season and a European Championship season so I want to be pushing on and playing at the highest level possible."