Hammer time for starlet Sears

Sears finally fulfils some of his potential

Sunday 13th October 2013 may seem like an obscure date but that is when Freddie Sears will score his next West Ham goal if he has to wait as long as he did for the one he scored against Wolves at the weekend.

Having netted a goal five minutes and 16 seconds into his first-team debut, it took a further 1022 days for the striker to net again for the Irons.

Much had been expected of Sears when he burst onto the scene in such dramatic fashion.

The lifelong West Ham fan, then aged 18, scored 25 goals in 24 matches for the youth and reserve sides during the 2007/08 campaign and was promptly handed a first-team debut by then-manager Gianfranco Zola.

With the score against Blackburn tied at 1-1 in March 2008, the precocious youngster headed in the rebound from his first attempt at goal to the delight of the Upton Park faithful.

Sears was touted as the next legend to come off the Hammers’ much-fabled production line, although the next three years were spent on the periphery of the first team. That or farmed out on loan.

Crystal Palace, Coventry and latterly Scunthorpe were home at one stage or another to Sears during that period as he attempted to hone the skills he showed so fleetingly for the Hammers.

It was in the not-so-famous claret and blue of Scunthorpe earlier this season that his recent resurgence began, impressing in his nine appearances for Ian Baraclough’s side despite not scoring.

So much so, in fact, that Sears was recalled by Irons boss Avram Grant in a bid to add another dimension to his ailing attack.

It was a move that paid dividend as Sears helped the Hammers climb off the bottom of the Barclays English Premier League and out of the relegation zone with a 2-0 win over fellow strugglers Wolves on Saturday.

After the match, Sears admitted it was a relief to finally get on the scoresheet again, but hopes there will be many more crucial goals as he aims to spearhead West Ham’s battle for top-flight survival.

“It has been a long wait, but is now a weight off my shoulders,” said Sears, who coolly slotted home from 12 yards with 10 minutes left.

“It has been hard at times, when you are looking for goals and the ball is just not going in, so it is great to get that goalscoring feeling and hopefully I can keep it up.

“Coming back here, I did not expect to go straight into the team and play the next three games like I have.

“It has been good and has given me a lot of confidence.

“The manager has shown a lot of faith in you and now you just have to go out and keep your position in the team.

“I have been working hard with finishing after training,” he continued. “You have just got to keep hitting the target, because if you do that, you will score.”

If Sears continues to score, maybe he will make himself a place in West Ham folklore after all.

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