Tony: A Good Experience

West Ham have won the annual ADO youth tournament in Den Haag after overcoming Brondby in the final - and Tony Carr says it was a good experience for his players ahead of the season proper starting this weekend.

The Hammers lost their first game 2-1 to Club Bruges, with Kyle Reid scoring the consolation goal before bouncing back to overcome Trelleborgs 2-1 with goals from Danny Bunce and Denzil Davidson.

Next up was the host side whom West Ham beat 4-1 with goals from Ashikodi [2], Bunce, and Stokes.

West Ham then faced Panathanaikos in the semi-final, winning 3-0 with goals from Ashikodi [2] and Bunce.

A 0-0 draw with Brondby followed, with West Ham winning the penalty shoot-out 4-2 thanks to Ashikodi, Bunce, Henry, and Stokes.

Assessing his team's performance in the competition, Tony Carr says:

"The first game of the tournament is always tough anyway but we had a couple of opportunities which we missed, and didn't quite do the business in that game.

"We won the second and then the third to take us into the knockout stage, went through to the final, and Matthew Reed saved a penalty.

"As we progressed there were less substitutions when it started to get more important."

Keeper Darren Behcet suffered an injury which allowed Matthew Reed to step in - and shine.

"Behcet played in the first game and aggravated a hip injury," says Tony.

"Reed played in goal after that, keeping three clean sheets, only conceding one goal, and saving two penalties.

"As well as in the final shootout, he saved a penalty against Panathanaikos which kept us in the game at 0-0; had they scored it could have gone the other way because the games are only 30 minutes and invariably the team that scores first, wins.

"Matt Reed will be pleased with his contribution."

Tony says his players did well to bounce back from a first match defeat and adds:

"It was disappointing to lose the first game, because that meant we were playing catch-up, but all credit to the players.

"They gave everything they had, their fitness was excellent, and I have no concerns on that front.

"The character they showed was first class and to round it off with a tournament win was a real bonus for us - and fully deserved, in my opinion.

"It was a great experience against some good teams; Bruges are playing in Europe, Panathanaikos are regularly in the Champions' League, Brondby are a big club...

"We were not playing mugs and we have delivered the goods again."

Only one player who travelled didn't play: David Shaw, who aggravated his knee injury and couldn't take part in the tournament.

The squad was:

Behcet, Henry, Bunce, White, Tomkins, Wright, Stokes, Cowley, Allen, Ashikodi, Reid, Brady, Reed, Yao, Davidson, Andrews, Ephraim, Shaw.

Meanwhile Tony is pleased that Anton Ferdinand and Nigel Reo-Coker have been called up for England U21s, who face Ukraine.

"Anton will be pleased with that and Nigel has been there before," says Tony.

"It is a bonus for those two boys and after the disappointment of Saturday's result they have got an international week ahead of them.

"It will be a great experience for Anton; the boy is still learning the game and he is still a very young player but this is another step on that learning curve."