Carr: Youngsters Pushing On

Tony Carr is hoping his young charges can win the ADO tournament in Holland for the second year running - and is delighted that Glen Johnson is not there to help!

Tony left the England under-19 youngster behind for the trip, and explains: "The key is to keep pushing boys on beyond their age bands - to get the youth boys into the reserves and the young players from the reserves into the first team squad.

"Anton Ferdinand has done really well and Glen Johnson is on the fringes of the first team squad, so things are looking good in that department.

"We pulled Glen out of this trip, even though he was young enough to come.

"He has done well enough with the first team squad for the senior staff to recommend he stays behind and trains with the first team - which I was more than pleased to agree to, obviously."

"There are only two under-19s with us, Billy Mehmet and Glenn Jackson. In Europe the age of registration is January, the year of birth, whereas ours starts in September.

"We have just arrived and we are looking forward to a good week's football. We hope we can emulate last season's achievement and come away with the trophy.

"There are lots of games in a short space of time, and it a really good workout for us."

Tony is pleased with the way things are building up for the new campaign, and adds: "We are progressing with each match and making each game a little more difficult - by next Monday we will have an idea of where we are going.

"We have another European game next Thursday against Cologne at Chadwell Heath and that will really tell us how we are going to shape up, I think."

And he says Kevin Keen, appointed as under-17 coach in the summer following the retirement of Peter Brabrook, is enjoying life back at West Ham.

"Kevin is settling in very well. He has not come with us to Holland because I felt it was best for him to stay behind and get to know the rest of the squad and the rest of the schoolboys that are about," he explains.

"He is thoroughly enjoying it and is looking forward to his first campaign with the under-17s."