The pre-season prince eyes first team squad

THIS time last year the name on every West Ham fans lips was that of Zavon Hines. The Academy youngster grabbed four goals in pre-season and many tipped him to make a real impact in the first team squad during the season, WRITES DAVE EVANS. That never hap

THIS time last year the name on every West Ham fans lips was that of Zavon Hines.

The Academy youngster grabbed four goals in pre-season and many tipped him to make a real impact in the first team squad during the season, WRITES DAVE EVANS.

That never happened, and Hines, after scoring in Sunday's pre-season game at Grays, is determined that this time round he will make more of an impact.

"I did do well last pre-season," confirmed the 20-year-old. "Then I got a knee injury and my chances were limited when I came back.


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"Hopefully this season will be much, much better."

Hines certainly looked sharp on Sunday, combining with winger Anthony Edgar - a cousin of Jermain Defoe - to open the scoring.

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"I've played with Anthony a lot in the youth team and I think it works because we are kind of similar," he said.

"He knows what sort of balls I need. He is a good player and he is quick too.

"For the goal I played a nice one-two with Anthony Edgar, he went on and then he cut it back to me and I beat a defender and then toe-poked it in.

"Every goal is a goal!"

Hines played one game last season - scoring in the Carling Cup victory over Macclesfield - but just as they were last year, the speedy striker admits that chances may well be limited again.

The forward made seven substitute appearances on loan at Coventry City in 2008, scoring one goal, but he is not thinking about following Freddie Sears out on loan this time round.

"It is a possibility, but I'm not really thinking about that right now," he insisted. "I'm thinking about playing for West Ham and getting in that first team squad."

Manager Gianfranco Zola looks to have had an influence on Hines, as he readily admits.

"I've learned an awful lot from the manager, trust me," he said. "It's all about pass and move, pass and move and concentrate at all times."

It looks like that theory is paying off for Hines at last.

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