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David Moyes watches Ireland youth star Oko-Flex shine with West Ham hat-trick

The 19-year-old has caught the eye since arriving at the club from Celtic this summer, finishing pre-season as the U-23′s top scorer and also finding the net for the first team in a friendly at Celtic Park.

Armstrong Oko-Flex celebrates.
Armstrong Oko-Flex celebrates.
Image: PA

WEST HAM UNITED boss David Moyes was on hand to watch Republic of Ireland underage star Armstrong Oko-Flex continue to press his case for a taste of first-team football this season.

The 19-year-old striker hit a 20-minute hat-trick as the Hammers’ Under-23 cruised to a 6-1 win over former club Arsenal in the opening Premier League 2 Division 1 fixture at the London Stadium last night.

Oko-Flex has caught the eye since arriving at the club from Celtic this summer, finishing pre-season as the U-23s’ top scorer and also finding the net for Moyes when the senior side played a friendly at Celtic Park.

Fellow Ireland underage international Conor Coventry and Mipo Odubeko also found the net, but Oko-Flex insists it will be more than just his goals which will convince Moyes, as well as assistant Stuart Pearce, to promote him to first-team ranks.

“It’s also about the whole performance,” he told West Ham’s website. “They’re also looking at my work ethic, how I am off the ball, whether I’m doing my defensive duties, running behind, so a hat-trick is good but it’s also the overall play they’ll look at just as much.

“We’ve worked hard in pre-season and that showed in the first game of the season, so I’m pleased for the whole team. In the first half, we scored our first goal from a high press.

“I think it probably took half-time for the coaches to show us how we should be pressing down and, with my goal and Conor’s goal and others, we won the ball back with a high press and came out and scored.

Gavin Cooney
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dundee-v-west-ham-united-pre-season-friendly-kilmac-stadium West Ham United Manager David Moyes and assistant coach Stuart Pearce

“We had a good half-time team talk and we came out and delivered what the coaches told us. It was an all-round good day. I even had some family and friends here and saw them after the game, so it felt kind of special, especially because it was against Arsenal – when I was younger I was in their academy.

“I knew their team and their coaches [personally], so it was an all-round special night for me and I enjoyed playing in this beautiful stadium.”

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