Hall right on target

Robert Hall is aiming to put his right foot forward as he bids to build on a successful summer.

The West Ham United scholar has enjoyed an unforgettable few months, winning the UEFA European Under-17 Championship with England before sitting his GCSE exams.

After a short holiday, Hall returned to pre-season training in July, opening his account for the new campaign with a hat-trick in a 5-1 FA Premier Academy League victory over Middlesbrough.

Each of his three goals was scored with his left foot and, while he also forced a Boro defender to score an own-goal with his weaker right, Hall knows there is work to be done before he can be considered truly two-footed.

"I'm not sure what the secret to my finishing is, really. I work on it a lot now that I'm full-time. Alex Dyer and Tony Carr want me to work on my right foot a bit more and I did try to claim the first goal, but I don't think I'm going to get it!

"When the ball comes, you've got to have the awareness. Once you know where the goal is, you've just got to put it in the net, and luckily I did that.

"I like to watch Freddie Sears a lot because I know he's a good finisher. I need to work more on my right foot because I don't really like using it because it's not my strong side, but I keep trying to use it. They keep going on at me in training to use it and hopefully if I do, it'll come off in a game."

Against Middlesbrough last Friday, Hall's left foot certainly did come off in the shape of three clinical finishes that helped Carr's Under-18s score a comprehensive first victory of 2010/11.

"It was a good performance. At the start of the second half, I thought we lost the ball for a while and were chasing shadows, but Tony got at us and told us to keep our shape.

"As a striker, when you've got people like Eoin Wearen, George Moncur, Dominic Vose and Lamarr Hurley around me and with me, it helps a lot. Whoever scores the goals, it's a team effort, and thankfully I got my three.

"We've set ourselves a target and we're on course for that target and I feel confident we'll get it, so I think the team is going in the right way."

Having trained with the first-team squad and forced his way into Dyer's reserve team last season, the 16-year-old is already making strides, but the young forward is mature enough to realise that he cannot afford to rest on his laurels.

"It was a busy summer. Once I got back from Liechtenstein, obviously I had the buzz, but within two weeks I had exams. We'll leave out how I got on! I came back in at the start of July so I only had two weeks off. I've got myself fit and ready for the new season.

"The summer was a lovely feeling and it will always be in my mind, but I can't really sit back on that and I've got to push on."