Moncur targets first-team breakthrough

The 2012/13 season has been another memorable one for West Ham United midfielder George Moncur.

The 19-year-old marked 2011/12 by making his Football League debut at League Two club AFC Wimbledon.

This term, while he has opted not to repeat that loan experience, Moncur has made his mark regularly for the Hammers' Development Squad in the Barclays U21 Premier League.

Moncur made a team high 27 appearances - all starts - as West Ham wrapped up the Group 1 title before Christmas. Since the New Year, he has played a central role as Nick Haycock's squad launched an ultimately unsuccessful bid to win the Elite Group and qualify for the Play-Offs.

Any disappointment was short-lived, however, as the teenager was picked as the Club's Young Hammer of the Year by Academy Director Tony Carr MBE, collecting the trophy from Scan Print's financial director Paul Yelland.

"Obviously I'm really pleased to have won this award and I want to thank all the coaches who have nominated me for this," said a beaming Moncur. "I'm over the moon with it.

"It's been a really good year for both me and the team. We progressed from the first stage of the Under-21 Premier League and if a few more results had gone our way, I think we could have gone all the way to the final.

"It was lovely to win the title before Christmas."

Moncur was quick to praise the impact on his career made by the Club's backroom staff - in particular sports scientist Greg De Carnys, strength and conditioning coach Dan Bernadin and intern Adam Crossley.

"To be fair, I have to give credit to all of the coaches because I think they have really developed me this year. I feel much stronger and quicker and I have got to give faith to Greg and Dan in the gym and to Adam with the heart-rate monitors and everything - all the people work hard behind the scenes for the Club and I really appreciate it."

It would be fair to say that Moncur is one of the biggest and loudest characters at the Club, both in terms of his personality and his dress sense.

However, while his infectious sense of humour and bright clothing catch the eye, they mask what is a hard-working and committed young professional footballer who steers clears of the vices that affect so many people of a similar age.

"I like to have a bit of banter, which is all part and parcel of the game, but I'm not one to mess about. My one aim in life is to be a professional footballer and, doing the stuff I am doing at the minute, hopefully I can carry that on and progress further and further to the first team.

"If I keep working hard, maybe one day I can win the senior Hammer of the Year award. I have just got to keep going and going and see what I can do."

As a central midfield player, Moncur often lays on opportunities for his team-mates, none more so than striker Elliot Lee.

Lee, who is in the year-group below the Young Hammer of the Year, scooped the Academy Player of the Year award for 2012/13 - an honour Moncur believes Lee richly deserved.

"I love Elliot as a lad and he is one of my best pals at the Club. He is also a very good player. I rate him very highly and he is a pleasure to play alongside."

The two sons of former West Ham midfielders - John Moncur and Rob Lee respectively - both have the attitude and the talent to follow in their fathers' footsteps.

Having made his debut in the Capital One Cup second-round win over Crewe Alexandra in August 2012, Moncur junior is determined to do just that.

"Obviously my Dad played at the Club and everybody rated him and loved him, so for me it's an honour to have the family name and follow my Dad through."