Different footballers enjoy different things on the pitch. A goalkeeper or defender may take most pleasure from a one-on-one save or a goal-line clearance. Midfielders may enjoy a crunching tackle or a superb assist.
For strikers, though, they take their enjoyment from one thing only – scoring goals. According to the Development Squad’s Jahmal Hector-Ingram, anyway.
“Without a doubt, the thing I most enjoy is putting the ball in the back of the net,” he says without hesitation. “After a little break during the summer, I can’t wait to get that feeling back again.”
In actual fact, the 17-year-old has already experienced that feeling this pre-season. The forward got off the mark for the campaign in an away friendly at Southend United, before following it up with another in the side’s summer trip to the Netherlands.
“Having scored a couple in pre-season already, I’ve never been more confident,” he continues. “I have to take it step by step, of course, and see how I do in the next game, but I always believe I am going to score.
“As a footballer, I’m a finisher. I like to dribble, but finishing is my best attribute. I love to express that when I can on the pitch.
“Last season, I scored two in one game against Arsenal and I was so confident. I love scoring against them as well, so that stands out in my memory. I want that feeling again this season.”
As well as the game against the Gunners, Hector-Ingram – who has been with the Hammers since he was six – enjoyed a terrific campaign last year.
The powerful forward, who was part of the Development Squad which won the U21 Premier League Cup, wants to experience similar highs this term.
“Having that taste of winning a trophy last season, of course I want to have that feeling again. We have a good young youth team coming up and I feel like we can win a lot of things in the future.
“I personally want to try and get on loan somewhere, if I’m lucky enough to do that, and be in and around the first team as much as I can. I want to stick with the Dev Squad and not head back down to the 18s, too. I just want to go up and up and see what happens.”
And whatever does happen for Jahmal, he’ll be sure to keep putting the ball in the back of the net.