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A week to remember for Daggers youngster Nouble

10:31 07 May 2014

Dagenham & Redbridge debutant Jon Nouble takes on Michael Ihiekwe of Cheltenham Town (pic: Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO)

Dagenham & Redbridge debutant Jon Nouble takes on Michael Ihiekwe of Cheltenham Town (pic: Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO)

Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football Leagu

It’s proved to be a whirlwind week for youngster Jon Nouble as he came on for his Daggers first-team debut in the final-day 3-2 win at Cheltenham Town.

The 19-year-old signed a professional contract with the club on Wednesday, and came off the bench for the final 10 minutes of Saturday’s victory.

And Nouble, the younger brother of former West Ham striker Frank, couldn’t quite believe how quickly it had all materialised.

“I’m really happy,” said Nouble. “It’s a great end to the season for me – I was just happy to be offered a pro contract. Coming on for my first-team debut was something I dreamed of. I was really pleased to get a couple of minutes.

“It’s a great summer present. I picked up Academy Player of the Year as well and to make my debut so soon makes me happy. Hopefully it’s the first of many.”

Nouble’s inclusion at the weekend alongside Jack Connors and Ian Gayle meant Daggers had three Academy players in the matchday squad.

That bodes well for the future of the club, and having them for company was a massive boost for the striker.

“It helps having the likes of Jack and Ian around,” he added. “Jack is very welcoming and I was with him in the youth team.

“He’s spoken to me a lot, especially when we’ve been training. If I am finding it hard he comes over and talks to me and helps me out.

“But even the older players have been welcoming, the likes of Scott Doe. It’s been nice and they have made me feel welcome.”

Nouble has spent the season on loan in non-league, with Thurrock and most recently Grays – scoring a combined 12 goals. It has been a great opportunity for the youngster, and he admitted he has come on leaps and bounds for the experience.

“Thurrock and Grays have been big steps for me,” he added. “In pre-season I started really well with the youth team and they felt I could handle men’s football so it was great experience for me. I’ve been on loan practically the whole season so I’ve been getting used to the physicality of the game.”

The striker goes into the summer on an all-time high and hopes with a good pre-season under his belt, he may be able to push for a first-team spot.

But he wouldn’t be adverse to another loan spell, adding: “I’ve got to work really hard, start pre-season strong and see what happens.

“If the gaffer says I should go out on loan I’ll take that experience, but if not and he wants me around the first team I’ll be ready to go.”

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