Tony Carr is building up for the new Under-18 season in Group A of the FA Premier Academy League with the success of last year's campaign still fresh in the mind.
The U18s have all been back in this week, including the new intake stepping up from the U16s, for fitness tests before getting down to full training. There is just over six weeks to go until the first competitive game - a glamour home match against Group C's Manchester United at Little Heath on Saturday 23 August before a trip to Leeds United a week later. Both of these matches are among ten games over the course of the campaign that will see Carr's team test themselves against teams from outside their league although the results do count for the final standings.
The remaining 18 games will see West Ham United play home and away against Group A rivals Arsenal, Charlton, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Ipswich, Norwich, Portsmouth and Southampton. Last season, Carr's youngsters enjoyed a tremendous run and were only just pipped by Arsenal to the title. The season is scheduled to conclude away to Tottenham Hotspur, who compete in Group B, on Saturday 2 May. The team will also compete in the FA Youth Cup from the third-round stage. Click here for fixtures, although please note all are subject to change.