Hugill: Dagenham game is a perfect platform for me to show I'm ready

Jordan Hugill in training in Miami



For Jordan Hugill, Wednesday’s fundraising friendly at Dagenham & Redbridge is an important game for both sporting and financial reasons.

With the likes of Marko Arnautovic and Manuel Lanzini away on international duty, the 25-year-old will likely lead the line, giving him a welcome opportunity to impress manager David Moyes ahead of the vital Premier League run-in.

And as someone who played non-league football for the likes of Seaham Red Star, Whitby Town and Gateshead in his native North East, the striker also fully aware of just how important Wednesday’s fundraising match is to the National League side.

If I do the right things on the pitch, it’ll put myself at the forefront of the manager’s mind and show I am ready for it

Jordan Hugill

“For me, this game is perfect because it gives me a platform to show the coaching staff what I can do and that, if I’m called upon, I’m going to be ready for it,” said the No12. “Hopefully I’ll do well and if I do the right things on the pitch, it’ll put myself at the forefront of the manager’s mind and show I am ready for it.

“It’s also an important game for Dagenham & Redbridge. People can forget about non-league football, but I’ve played myself in the Northern Premier League and I know what it is like when clubs have to work hard to raise the funds they need, so any help that bigger clubs can give is brilliant. Any money we can raise will be brilliant, for them, so it should be a good night all-round.

“One of my old clubs, Hartlepool United, have also had some financial trouble recently. I was part of the squad 2015 and I donated the shirt I scored the winner against Exeter to keep them up in the Football League to do my bit and it raised about £350. It was priceless for me, but it was good for them and you don’t want to see clubs go under because of money problems, because that’s always sad to see. Anything we can do is brilliant.”


Jordan Hugill donated his historic Hartlepool United shirt to the League Two club's fundraising effort


Hugill also reflected positively on the squad’s training camp in Florida, where he spent time getting to know his new teammates on and off the pitch.

“It was really good for me,” he confirmed. “Having come in at the end of January, it made settling in a bit harder, so this trip gave me the chance to get to know people better and learn how they work. The better you get on off the pitch, it transfers onto the pitch, so it was definitely worthwhile.

“The manager has been around long enough and he knows what he is doing and knows how to get the best out of his players. He has got a good response out of his players and for me personally it was a good trip and I’m sure we will see the benefits.

“Sometimes you’ve just got to get away from all the distractions, clear your head space, get your head down and do your work. Change of environment freshens the mind and it certainly did that. That little change has certainly brought out a spark in people and will provide the reaction the manager was looking for.”

*Tickets for Wednesday's fundraising friendly at Chigwell Construction Stadium (7.30pm kick-off) will be available to purchase on the night, priced at £10 Adults, £8 O65s and £3 U16s.