ZAK Boagey has his sights fixed firmly on the Hartlepool United first-team after an eye-catching hat-trick against Billingham Town.
The 18-year-old was the star of the show at Bedford Terrace last night, completing his treble inside half an hour before laying on two more goals in the 5-0 win.
Boagey, an attacking midfielder, could well now win a place in the senior squad which faces Preston North End on Friday night, and, if so, that is where the talented teen intends to stay.
“I’ve just got one aim now – to get in that first-team squad and stay there,” the former English Martyrs schoolboy told SportMail today.
“I was buzzing with the hat-trick – it is brilliant for your confidence as a young player.
“It can’t have done me any harm with the manager (Colin Cooper) watching as well.
“Hopefully I’ll get my chance at some point but then I’ve got to take it.
“I came on for six minutes last season at home to Bury and it was unreal.
“That makes you want it more.”
Boagey only signed for him hometown club midway through last season having been released by Middlesbrough.
And he reflected: “I was at Boro and I was doing well, I got my scholarship when I was only 14.
“It didn’t work out but I came here and it was a fresh start.
“I was buzzing with it being my hometown club.
“Everything has just gone uphill since then.
“Being around the first-team is such a massive change for me.”
Boagey took just 30 minutes to fire Pools into a 3-0 lead last night.
A pair of instinctive tap-ins were interspersed by a classy chip, and he looked back: “I needed the first goal, that settled me down and got me going.
“After that I just wanted to score more and more.
“The second one was my favourite, just a little chip over the keeper.
“I had chased the ball down and nicked it off the defender.
“I thought ‘just be calm’, so I just chipped it over the goalkeeper and it was a nice goal.
“The third was another one from close-range but we had a load of chances and could have had a fair few more, myself included.”
He added: “It does me the world of good scoring and creating goals, that’s my game.
“I like to get the ball in deep and run at people, I just love attacking.
“I have always been like that and hopefully I can start showing that with the first-team this season.”