Augsburg defender Reece Oxford insists no regrets after West Ham debut at 16

Augsburg defender Reece Oxford says breaking into West Ham’s first team at 16 was good for him.

He recalled bursting onto the scene against Arsenal.

“All my friends were speaking: ‘He’s playing against Arsenal, in the Premier League when he’s 16’, all of that, but I was just a young kid,” says Oxford.

“I was still going to school at the time. I was just a normal boy playing football, doing something I loved.”

From an early age, Oxford was touted for big things and he was invited to train with the West Ham first team when he was 14.

One year later he was training with them every week, but dropping back down to play with the younger age groups for matches.

It made his development difficult and he missed out on “the little stuff”, like gym work as he was part of the first-team training schedule.

“It was up and down really,” says Oxford. “It was a bit difficult to keep up with everything, but they are bumps in your career and I think I learned from it.

“I think I have benefitted from it in the long run because I learned from it. I know what is right and wrong, and I am happy I learnt it at a young age.”

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