herald

Monday 20 November 2017

Wearen out to Hammer home deal at Daggers

ON-LOAN Irish midfielder Eoin Wearen will go into the Lions’ Den for fourth-tier side Dagenham & Redbridge tonight as the League Two strugglers take on Millwall in what they hope will be a successful FA Cup run.

But with Wembley a long way away, the main aim for the 19-year-old Dubliner is to catch the eye of West Ham boss Sam Allardyce and prove that, should the Hammers win promotion to the Premier League next season, he deserves a chance to play at the top level.

Wearen, a member of the Irish U19 side which reached the semi-finals of the European Championships last season, has yet to play for West Ham’s first team.

He has been sent out on loan to Dagenham – currently joint bottom in League Two and in danger of relegation to the Conference – to gain first-team experience, and he’ll get another taste in tonight’s Cup replay away to the Lions.

“I made my debut for the club when we drew at home to Millwall in the Cup last month so this is a great chance for me, playing at a big ground like the New Den,” said Wearen, who is from Glasnevin on Dublin’s northside.

Fancy

“We deserved to beat Millwall in the drawn game, and Millwall come into this game having lost 6-0 at home in the league last weekend so I think we have a great chance of causing an upset and getting into the next round, where we’d play Southampton if we get through. We certainly fancy our chances.”

Wearen, a handy Gaelic footballer who was in with a shout of the Dublin minor panel before he moved to England, has enjoyed his time at Dagenham – where Limerick lad Damien McCrory is a team-mate – but the priority is to secure his future at West Ham, as he’s out of contract in the summer.

“Most of the lads from the reserve team at West Ham (have) already been told if they’re being let go or being kept on. Seven lads have been let go and I think I’m the only one who hasn’t been officially told one way or the other, so I still have a chance at the club,” he said.

“I know that Sam Allardyce is coming to the game tonight and I hope to start so it’s a chance for me to impress him. He has told me that if I do well on loan and impress, I have a good chance of getting a new contract.”

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