Academy Director Tony Carr praised on West Ham United's Under-18s after they secured a 1-0 pre-season win at Norwich City.

The Hammers have a number of regulars currently away with the Development Squad and first team, so Carr was impressed at both the performance and result achieved in sweltering temperatures by a relatively inexperienced side.

First-year scholar Taylor Tombides got the goal that made the difference, with goalkeeper Sam Baxter also catching the eye between the sticks by making a string of good saves to keep the Canaries at bay.

"The boys coped very well considering it was 30 degrees and midday," said Carr. "For me we were the better side especially in the first half when we created a lot of opportunities.

"They came back into it during the second period, but Sam Baxter did well by making a few good saves. Overall, we edged it and deserved the win."

Pre-season is often a time for experimentation and Carr did just that, while expressing his satisfaction as he and Under-18s coach Nick Haycock continue to build for the FA Premier Academy League season.

"All in all it was a very good workout and that's exactly what pre-season is about. The lads' fitness levels are continuing to improve and they did well in the heat, which also meant we made a lot of changes, but you expect that during this part of the season."

A few months on from seeing Dan Potts and Rob Hall make their senior debuts, the ultimate goal for Carr would be to see yet another youth-team player break into the first team, but he refused to name any names.

"My hope is that a player or players can break into the first team by the end of the season, but I don't want to name anyone and add more pressure. It would be great to see them not only get some game time, but be provided with the opportunity to prove themselves and develop their skills to the next level."

Carr also took a moment to ponder what he would consider a successful season for the U18s, setting his sights on the FA Youth Cup.

"Last season we we're incredibly unlucky in the FA Youth Cup, losing on penalties to the eventual winners Chelsea in the fifth round. Success would be winning it, and that's what we aim to do every year. However it is also important that the players perform well individually and within the team.

"If we play extremely well and compete only to lose on penalties then we won't have too many complaints."

The Academy team face Everton on Saturday before wrapping up their pre-season preparations in Belgium, where Carr will be hoping to add the finishing touches before their opening league game next month.

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