Hammers snap up striker

West Ham United are pleased to announce the signing of Republic of Ireland Under-19 international striker Sean Maguire from Waterford United.

The forward, who does not turn 19 until May, finished as joint-top scorer in the League of Ireland First Division in 2012, helping Waterford to finish as runners-up.

Maguire, who bagged 13 goals in 24 league appearances to help the Blues reach the promotion play-offs, joined the Hammers on a two-and-a-half year contract on New Year's Day - subject to international clearance - after the two clubs agreed a fee in December following a successful trial.

The teenager, who is described as a clinical finisher, moved into the Academy House this week and trained with his new team-mates on Thursday admitted he cannot wait to pull on a claret and blue shirt for the first time.

"I played with Waterford but I originally come from Kilkenny," he told West Ham TV. "I finished joint-top goalscorer in the Irish First Division and was nominated for Young Player of the Year and Players' Player of the Year, so I thought I had a successful season.

"In summer 2011, the Waterford manager brought me in for a couple of training sessions and gave me a chance in the first team and I took it. Here I am now at West Ham and it is a dream come true, really.

"People tend to say my best trait is my movement so hopefully I can show that here. I haven't been told yet which squad I will be in but I presume I'll be going into the reserves so I'll try to work my way up like I did at Waterford."

Maguire will hope to settle quickly at his new club, helped by the fact he already knows West Ham youngsters and fellow countrymen Eoin Wearen and Kieran Sadlier, as well as Northern Ireland youth international Jamie Harney.

"I trained with Kieran when we went to Latvia with Ireland. He's a great player and he plays a similar role to me. I get on well with him and Jamie and Eoin too. They have really helped me settle into the club, as have the other lads like George Moncur."

Maguire, who was born in Luton but grew up in the town of Castlecomer in County Kilkenny, has been a prolific scorer for the Blues since making his first-team debut just two months past his 17th birthday in July 2011.

The 5'9 tall frontman played for local club Evergreen and schoolboy soccer for Deen Celtic and Ormonde Villa before coming to prominence when he scored a hat-trick for the Kilkenny & District League in the Youth All-Ireland final against Cork in 2011.

Following that fine performance, he was snapped up by Waterford, initially going into the club's under-19 side. However, manager Paul O'Brien gave Maguire a chance in the first team and he earned an 18-month contract with the club.

After scoring once in the 2011 campaign, Maguire came of age last year, netting four times across three successive league games in June.

That form saw him earn international honours in the shape of a Republic of Ireland Under-19 debut in a 1-1 friendly draw in Latvia in September - two weeks before he scored his first senior hat-trick in a 4-2 win over Longford Town.