It's Hall in the family
For 18-year-old Rob Hall, football never sleeps.
After inspiring the Development Squad to a 4-1 victory against Arsenal last Friday he made his full debut for West Ham United in the 4-1 Capital One Cup defeat to Wigan Athletic on Tuesday.
Just days later the forward has put cup heartbreak behind him and shifted his focus back to the Development Squad, who face Norwich City on Friday night at Rush Green, a game that could have an added twist for Hall.
The Canaries, who currently sit fourth in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League Division One table, have a Hall of their own, with Rob's younger cousin, Reece Hall-Johnson, set to be one of the Norwich youngsters attempting to reduce the deficit held by the table-topping Hammers.
"My younger cousin plays for Norwich City, I know what he is about and he has told me a bit about how they play.
"I hope he plays because it would be great for our family to see us competing against each other, whether that happens is up to us, we need to work hard to ensure we are in the starting line-up."
The top three teams in each division will progress to the Elite Group Stage after Christmas and Hall is expecting a different but equally challenging match to their previous encounter against Arsenal.
"I am expecting a very tough match," he said. "They will be extremely organised, work very hard in and out of possession and be very different to the Arsenal side we faced last time out.
"We have played them before at youth-team level and they were always very good. We know how they play and what they are about so like I said we know how they will set out to play."
Reflecting on a bittersweet defeat in east London on Tuesday night, the Aylesbury-born forward admitted starting at the Boleyn was a dream come true despite the disappointment of defeat.
"Starting for the first team is something I have wanted to do my whole life, so, God blessed, I have now managed to do that. It was very nice to play at the Boleyn Ground.
"Obviously we are disappointed with the result but when you come out of the tunnel and the crowd go wild it really gets you going, it was an amazing feeling."
After a near-miss against Crewe Alexandra in the previous round, Hall again came close to getting on the scoresheet again but his superb curling shot bounced agonisingly off the crossbar.
"I came pretty close to scoring by hitting the crossbar. I just need to keep shooting when the ball comes to me or look to play someone else in if they're in a better position.
"I don't feel I showed the full extent of what I can do against Wigan but hopefully I can improve upon that the next time I get an opportunity in the first-team."
Kick-off for the Development Squad's game against Norwich City on Friday night is 7pm at the Rush Green Stadium on Rush Green Road, RM7 OLU. Entry is free for Season Ticket holders, £3 for adults and £1 for Under-16s. Tickets can be purchased at the turnstiles.
*Academy goalkeeper Jake Larkins has joined Grays Athletic on a one-month loan deal.