May 18 2013 Latest news:
Nathaniel John, West Ham Correspondent
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Hammers youngster excited ahead of European under-19 Championships
West Ham youngster Rob Hall’s season is starting a lot earlier than the rest of his team-mates as he forms part of the England under-19 squad travelling to Georgia next month for the European under-19 Championships.
The 18-year-old striker is aiming to complete a historic double as two years ago Hall was part of the Young Lions squad that won the under-17 version of the same competition in 2010.
England were given a bye until the final Elite Round of qualifiers, and despite not being involved, Hall proved he has the quality to play at under-19 level by netting the winner in a 1-0 victory against Denmark at Brighton’s Amex Stadium back in November.
“I am looking forward to the European Championships,” said the Aylesbury-born forward. “We have got a strong squad and players with a lot of experience.
“It should be a very competitive tournament because we’re in a harder group than when we won it as the under-17s. I believe we can do well, though.”
Despite not featuring during qualifying for the tournament, Hall is confident that he will have some part to play in Georgia.
“I was not involved in the final round of qualifiers, but I had a phone call and was told I would be involved in the final tournament if we got through,” he explained.
“I have played one game and I scored the winner so I know I can play at this level and do well.
“When we won as the under-17s I started one game and was used as a substitute in all the others, so I had a big part to play.
“Everyone goes to the tournament with a point to prove and wanting to be involved, and whatever part I have to play, I’ll be doing my best.”
And having made his first-team debut for the Hammers last season, Hall is excited about what the 2012-13 campaign will bring.
“Last season was definitely more of an ‘up’ season than a ‘down’ one,” he said.
“Hopefully this coming year I can do even more. I would like to think that I am not too far away from taking the next step, but we have not been back in at West Ham yet this summer, so I don’t know exactly what that means for me yet.
“This will be my first season as a professional age-wise so it’s an exciting time for me.
“I cannot sit on last season’s achievements any longer, because every year you are starting from scratch.
“If I get the call to play for West Ham, I feel I have got the ability and the confidence to play and not look out of play, it’s up to me to show the manager that.
“I feel that when I have been used in the past I have done well and he cane have the confidence to use me again.”
Having spent periods of last season on loan at League Two club Oxford United and then League One’s MK Dons, Hall admits he would be open to another loan spell, but naturally wants to play at the highest level possible.
“I cannot thank Oxford enough for the confidence they gave me last season,” he added.
“Because of them I was making headlines that a 17-year-old doesn’t normally make.
“If the manager feels I could benefit from going out on loan then I would be happy to do so.
“I spent some time at MK Dons and got a little taste of League One and I would obviously love to play regularly at a higher level than I have done before, but the main thing is that I just want to be playing football.”