Joe Powell is hoping the two assists he registered on his West Ham United debut were just the start of his journey to regular first-team football for his boyhood club.
The 19-year-old caught the eye as a second-half substitute in Wednesday’s 8-0 Carabao Cup third-round win over Macclesfield Town, highlighting an impressive performance by laying on two goals for fellow Academy graduate Grady Diangana.
And, as a lifelong Hammer born just a short distance from London Stadium in Canning Town, Powell is determined to make the most of any opportunities Manuel Pellegrini gives him to shine in Claret and Blue.
West Ham is my club and where I want to be so to break through here would be amazing
“It was amazing,” he beamed. “I’ve supported West Ham all my life and obviously all my family do going way back, so it was a great feeling.
“Our quick combination play helped us a lot and I got my two assists, so I’m buzzing! On the big stage everyone is watching, so you want to impress. I’m happy with the two assists and Grady thanked me after too, so fair play to him!
“I’d love to get out on loan and get experience but obviously West Ham is my club and where I want to be so to break through here would be amazing.”
Powell has filled a variety of positions for the club he joined at the age of six, playing in central midfield, wide on the left and, on occasion, at full-back.
A creative, technically-gifted player who has captained the U18s and U23s, the east Londoner is hoping to settle into an attacking midfield role on a regular basis in the future.
“I see myself playing higher up the pitch and creating things, as you saw. I can do a job in a deeper midfield role or even at left-back and it’s good to have that versatility, but my main position is higher up.”
A second for Diangana makes it 8️⃣! ?? pic.twitter.com/tyGbw27qwA— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) September 27, 2018
While his own career is rightly Powell’s priority, he is also eager to see his Academy teammates progress to senior football.
Having played alongside two-goal Diangana, Declan Rice and fellow Carabao Cup debutant Conor Coventry for the past few seasons, he knows the quality and potential all three possess.
“Grady is scary to play against in a one-on-one situation, to be fair,” he confirmed. “I’ve had him up against me a few times in training and it’s not a place you want to be! He’s a very good attacking player.
“Dec spoke to us after and said ‘I’m happy for all of you’. He was obviously in our shoes at one point and now he’s gone on and that was his 37th appearance, so I’m buzzing for him as much as for those who made their debuts.
“There are loads of boys coming through with great technical ability and the right mind for it, so hopefully they will all go a long way.”