IRISH youngster Sean Maguire has set himself a target of scoring a goal in the Premier League for West Ham after taking his first steps on the ladder with the Hammers in the last 24 hours.
The Kilkenny-born striker joined West Ham from Waterford United late last year but Maguire has been frustrated in his efforts to impress at Upton Park, as weather issues and match postponements denied him a debut for the reserves.
Maguire, 19, finally got a run-out for the Hammers' second string yesterday and it was a good day for the Irish lad as he helped out in a 2-0 win over Arsenal, but he has no plans to fade into the background and is keen to make further progress with Sam Allardyce's first team.
"I have my debut for the reserves out of the way now, it's great to just pull on that West Ham jersey at last. It's just a matter of how far I can go at the club but I want to do well," Maguire told the Evening Herald.
"Some people are expecting me to be the next James McClean or Shane Long, because I went to a Premier League club from the League of Ireland, but I just want to do myself justice and get myself established in the reserves first and then, hopefully, the first team, like I did with Waterford United.
"If I work hard and keep up the right attitude, then things might happen for me. I know I can't expect to walk into the first team at a big club like this, I think the club's aim for me is to let me get used to reserve team football first.
"But my aim for the season is to get a Premier League goal. I know that is aiming high but that's what I am aiming for," added Maguire, who is in the Ireland U19 squad for two home friendlies against the Czech Republic next week.
"I have two and a half years to prove myself and I'm still young, I know I have a lot to learn and a lot to live up to."
Maguire, who played schoolboy football for Evergreen before hooking up with Waterford United, had trials with clubs like Sunderland, Leicester City, Peterborough United and Birmingham City, and while a move to St Andrews appeared to be on the cards it never happened and he ended up at the RSC, and then got his move to West Ham.
"It's been a frustrating few weeks, I have been here for a month now but didn't have any games to play in, apart from reserve games," he added.
"I was due to play for the Development Team against Manchester United and we even travelled up to Manchester. But a few hours before kick-off we were told the game was off due to the snow, so it was good to put on the jersey at last.
"I came on with about 30 minutes to go. They brought me on for Wellington Paulista, our new signing. I was actually meant to start the game on Monday but Sam Allardyce wanted Wellington to get a game in before the weekend so he started and I came on on the right wing.
"Out wide isn't my favourite position as I like to play up front but I did what was asked of me and I think it went well."
Maguire was brought in by the Hammers from the RSC at a bargain price -- reportedly €50,000 -- and is seen by the club as a long-term prospect as he's been learning his trade as a full-time pro, spending most of his time training with the reserve/U21 side. But he has sometimes joined in for sessions with Allardyce's expensively-assembled first team.
"I'd train with the first team one day and the reserves the next day but it's all part of the process over here," he says.
"It's a big step up from the First Division in the League of Ireland. The game is a lot more physical and a lot quicker, but I think I have coped with it well and the people at the club have told me I'm doing well."