West Ham United Academy forward Sean Adarkwa had a Monday night to remember this week as he made his U23 debut at Swansea City.
Despite the 3-0 defeat, 17-year-old Adarkwa – who was introduced as a substitute with 13 minutes remaining – was one of a number of youngsters who came into Terry Westley’s team and impressed in south Wales.
Kristijan Belic – only 16 – also played his first Premier League 2 minutes while other 17-year-olds Bernardo Rosa and Ajibola Alese were also handed appearances.
Although it was a game which ultimately ended in disappointment for the visitors, Adarkwa admitted it was a night he won’t forget.
“It felt really good, to get on the pitch and get a few touches of the ball, it’s a game I’ll remember and it was a good moment for me,” he said.
“I obviously got about ten or 15 minutes and I think the chances I got to make some runs and get on the ball.
“I did OK so I can take the positives and kick on from tonight.”
It felt really good, to get on the pitch and get a few touches of the ball. It was a good moment for me
The Hammers were the better side for large parts of the fixture at Swansea’s Landore Training Centre, and it was harsh on the east Londoners to go into the break 2-0 down.
From the bench, it was clear to Adarkwa who was on top of the majority of the clash and the youngster was frustrated the result went against his side.
“We dominated most of the possession and we were the better team in the way we tried to play. We played our football from the start to the finish but Swansea got some goals on the counter attack.
“It shows you how important taking your chances are, because we were the better team first half but didn’t take our couple of chances and then we go in 2-0 at the break.”
After the game, Adarkwa took the opportunity to look ahead and outline his hopes and aims for the rest of the campaign.
“My favourite position is centre-forward and that’s where I came on, so that’s the position I want to try and make an impact in,” he continued.
“I can do a job on the wing as well so hopefully I can make an impact in this team. Martin has gone out on loan and if there are any more then it’s a good opportunity for us to come in and try and stand out when we get the chance.
“I think the focus for me now this season has to be with the U23s more often, maybe permanently if I can impress, so that’s the aim for me for the rest of the season.”