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Perkins hopes he has big future

Sonny Perkins hopes that he is given plenty more first-team opportunities at West Ham after coming off the bench against Rapid Vienna.

The 17-year-old was introduced for the final 15 minutes of the clash in Austria as the Hammers cruised to a 2-0 win in the Europa League.

Perkins is a versatile forward player who is capable of playing on the left flank or up front, and he had a gilt-edged chance to score his first senior goal, only to send a header straight at the Rapid goalkeeper.

Still, the teenager was delighted to make his cameo and he hopes that he will have the chance to keep playing for the first-team after getting a taste for it.

Speaking to the club’s official website after the game, Perkins said: “Everything’s happened so quickly this season. People say that in football, things can change so quickly, but as long as you keep working hard, that can always happen.

“You’ve always got to believe something like that can happen like that. I think I’ve worked hard, and I’ve got a reward for it.

“On Monday, a few of us [U23s] knew that we might be involved in first-team training. On Tuesday I went back, trained the whole session, and I think I trained well. Yesterday, four of us [Perkins, Aji Alese, Jamal Baptiste and Dan Chesters] travelled out here. 

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“It was surreal really, because I’ve only been involved a couple of days and to fly out with the team… they’ve been great with me as well.

“The guys who have come through the Academy naturally look out for me and whoever comes across, so they made me feel welcome, so I’m grateful to them for that. They made me feel comfortable to get on the ball and do what I can do.

“I’ve still got a long way to go to where I want to be, but hopefully this can be the start of many [appearances]. That’s what I want. 

“It felt great out there, and to play with all of these great players and train with them, that can only help me get better. Hopefully there’s way more to come. It’s been great.”

The forward has been in excellent form in the youth teams and has already been promoted to Under-23 level, where he has scored five goals in 10 games.

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About Dave Langton

A journalist with 10 years' experience of working on National newspapers, now chief reporter covering the club that I've loved since I was a boy. Upton Park remains the greatest football stadium ever built.