West Ham United U18s host Crystal Palace in their final pre-season fixture on Saturday morning, fresh from an impressive fortnight's work.

Steve Potts' youngsters defeated Charlton Athletic 3-2 on Tuesday 30 July before travelling to Belgium for the prestigous Yale Eurofoot Tournament. There, the Hammers won their opening four group matches before going on to finish as overall runners-up to Danish side Nordsjaelland.

The U18s manager has been proud of his players' efforts and has called for another fine showing when they host the Eagles at Little Heath on Saturday, with kick-off at 10.30am.

"We have done well." Potts confirmed. "We went to Charlton and that was a tough game and we came through that. It was a decent test for them because Charlton mixed their game up really well and we had to match them physically. If we hadn't we'd have come unstuck and I thought they did that side of the game well.

"We came out of it with a 3-2 win and then went out to Belgium and just fell short in the final in the end. Overall, I was really pleased with them."

In Oostduinkerke, West Ham defeated Belgian quartet Club Brugge, AA Gent, Anderlecht and KV Oostende to top Group A before being defeated by Dutch team Utrecht in their final meaningless group fixture.

After drawing 1-1 and defeating Tottenham Hotspur on penalties in the semi-finals, the Hammers came up just short against Nordsjaelland in the final, losing 1-0. On and off the pitch, Potts said the teenagers were a credit to themselves and to the Club.

"They had a mixture of everything and it was a good effort. I personally think the boys got a lot out of it and hopefully they will feel the benefits from it.

"I was more than happy with what they did on the pitch and off the pitch, which for me are equally important. You get to see the boys close-up for three or four days and how they react to certain things and how they get on as a group, because it's a team game and you have to all be pulling in one direction.

"I was really, really pleased with the stuff they did off the pitch as well. Around the hotel, there was no trouble so I was very pleased."

Crystal Palace will provide another decent challenge. The south London side may compete in the Barclays U18 Premier League 2 South Division, but the Eagles have a reputation for producing top players like Wayne Routledge, Nathaniel Clyne, Jonathan Williams, Ben Watson and Wilfried Zaha.

"It will definitely be another good test for the boys," confirmed Potts. "They are strong opposition and have quite good record for getting boys into their first team, so I presume they will be pretty strong again.

"It's going to need another Charlton performance where we'll need to match them in all departments. We then have the final week before the league starts next Saturday."

Admission for Saturday's pre-season fixture will be free, as it will be for the visit of Manchester United for the opening Barclays U18 Premier League game of 2013/14 on Saturday 17 August.

Full highlights from Saturday's visit of Crystal Palace will appear on West Ham TV later this weekend.

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