Browne relishing Rams' test

The Dev Squad's game with Derby County on Monday is free for all fans
After signing professional terms with the Hammers last week, highly rated midfielder Marcus Browne is set to face Derby County U21 at Rush Green on Monday 23 November.

The 17-year-old has made the transition from the U18s to the U21s look seamless, scoring once in a 4-0 thumping over Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Reflecting on his season so far, Browne said: “Training with the U21s is different to training with the U18s, the standard is better and the expectations go up.

“It’s been fun and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I feel like I’m improving everyday in training and learning new things all the time thanks to Terry (Westley) and Liam (Manning).”

During the international break, Browne played, and impressed, in the first team’s behind-closed-doors-friendly against Crystal Palace.

Playing as a number 10, as part of a midfield trio with Mark Noble and Alex Song, the youngster more than took his opportunity to show Slaven Bilic what he can do.

Speaking about his performance, he continued: “It was a good experience for me playing with the first team in a friendly. And to play in midfield with the likes of Noble and Song was a great experience, one I’ll never forget.

“I rate and look up to them both highly. It was good to get a taste of first team football and to see what it’s like and what is required to play at the top level. I learnt a lot playing in the match.”

On Monday, the Dev Squad will be looking to build on their 2-1 away win over Brighton & Hove Albion.

A superb all round performance was rewarded with a valuable three points thanks to goals from Martin Samuelsen and Josh Cullen.    

“The win over Brighton was a massive confidence boost to the team,” Browne continued, “Everyone enjoys winning it’s a good feeling. The win against Brighton felt really good. The boys played really well and everyone worked hard and helped each other to earn a well-deserved victory.

“Hopefully we’ve found our form and we can start turning good, strong performances into a string of wins.”

As for his season personally, the combative midfielder is hoping to extend his deep vein of form for as long as possible.

Having opened his account for the season at Wolves’ expense, Browne is hoping to add to his tally.

“It was good to score against Wolves, my first goal for the U21s. My targets for the rest of the season would be to be involved in as many goals as possible, create loads of chances, get a few more goals myself and help the team to more wins.

“Playing as a 10 is new to me but I feel like I’ve come on loads since the start of the season, the U21s’ coach Liam Manning has helped me loads to understand the role and get used to it. I feel like if I stay positive, and keep wanting to learn new things, I can do really well and go a long way.”

 The Development Squad host Derby County U21 on Monday 23 November at Rush Green Stadium, kick off 7pm. Admission is FREE for all fans.