Hello and welcome back, Hammers, to Brace the Hammer’s official Weekly Loan Watch. Sorry we missed last week, but now we’re back and better than ever. Also a day late. Anyway. As always, you can catch up with who these lads are right here.
Reece Oxford — Reading (Championship)
You read that right. Reece Oxford finally got to play in a match for his loanee side Reading, and a grand day it was indeed. It left most fans wondering what had taken so long for the young defender to get his chance, even if it was just 17 minutes of game time.
And he did! Albeit only because of an injury to the starting defender, Liam Moore.
Slightly off-topic, but Oxford also got called up to the England U19 squad! Good days ahead for our man.
Joshua Cullen — Bradford City (League One)
BCAFC’s form since the last time we’ve updated you all on our loanees is W-W-D. Joshua Cullen made his 36th appearance for the Bantams most recently and played 90 minutes once again for a 2-0 win at Coventry City. To say the young man is on fire would be an absolute understatement. The fans at Bradford City are in love with the kid, and there’s no question as to why. He is on a meteoric rise to stardom. If the lad could shoot the ball, there’s no doubt in our minds that he could be vying for a first-team spot with West Ham United up in the Premier League.
Is anyone out there surprised by this? ...Bueller?
Bradford City are now eight points up on seventh-placed Southend United, while they are outside the automatic promotion spots by just a couple of points. The Bantams could be making a nice push here toward the end of the season for a promotion to the Championship.
How can he not be winning MOTM week in and week out with moves like this?
Toni Martinez — Oxford United (League One)
In his last three games for the Oxen, Martinez has only played 10, 7, and 12 minutes respectively. In just ten minutes of action back on March 7th, though, the young Spaniard was able to net a goal—his first in league play for Oxford United. Either the manager at Oxford United, Michael Appleton, got fed up with Toni’s eye for goal only under the bright lights, or Appleton sees Toni’s impact that he can have in a super-sub role. Either way, as long as Toni is scoring goals it’s fine by us. When your young striker is scoring goals and gaining confidence, it’s a good thing.
Sam Howes — Hampton & Richmond (National League South)
Sam Howes, or H&R Blocker (because he plays for Hampton & Richmond? And he’s a goalie? Who blocks shots? And there’s a company in the US called H&R Block? Get it?) as I like to call him, has been in fine form for the NL South side this season, starting every game there since he was loaned. While the results aren’t always what we’d like to see, those don’t always depend solely on the goalkeeper. Any experience for a 19-year-old in a full-time starting role is good experience, and in the last two matches, young Howes has helped his squad to a 0-0 draw and a 2-0 win.
Jaanai Gordon — Newport County (League Two)
Jaanai Gordon played the final five minutes against Crewe Alexandra, and that was it. Can’t expect a young striker to make much of a difference in just five minutes, but it seems to be that this is the fate of our lad while he’s at Newport County.
George Dobson — Walsall (League One)
Young Dobson has played 13, 22, and 73 minutes in the last three matches respectively. Looks like his meeting with the manager at Walsall, Jon Whitney, has done some good for the young loanee, as Dobson’s minutes have gone up substantially over the last three matches to the respective tune of a win, a draw, and a loss. Hopefully Dobbie’s numbers going up and the team’s form going down are just coincidental.
Sam Ford — Bishop’s Stortford (National League South)
Ford, much like Dobson, has been seeing his playing time go up, but, unlike Dobson, has seen his team’s form rise a bit with his playing time. Young Ford played 88 minutes and scored his first goal, as well as the only in the match, for a 1-0 win at St. Albans City. The Blues then went on to get destroyed 4-0 at home by East Thurrock United. Glad for Sam to get his first goal in a real football league, sad for Sam that he has to play on such a godawful team.
DID NOT PLAY (DNP):
- Enner Valencia
- Martin Samuelsen
- Reece Burke
- Alex Pike
- Marcus Browne
Back from loan:
- Kyle Knoyle
- Josh Pask
No longer with the club:
- Luka Belic
- Stephen Hendrie