Payne off to Cheltenham

West Ham United have agreed to loan Under-18 captain Josh Payne to League One outfit Cheltenham Town.

This will be Payne's first spell on loan since joining the club at the beginning of 2007. The midfielder, who turns 18 in November, has enjoyed a solid start to the new campaign. After impressing in pre-season, he was awarded the captaincy of Tony Carr's youth side and helped them to an unbeaten run of four matches before the weekend loss at Birmingham City.

Payne also started the reserves' first game of the season away to Chelsea last week, more than holding his own in a 2-0 reverse in front of the watching Cheltenham manager, and former Hammers favourite, Martin Allen. A versatile performer, who is also comfortable in central defence, Payne is an energetic player who has good close control and an eye for a goal. His loan with Cheltenham will see him stay at the club until 25 October. Meanwhile, Jack Jeffery has returned from a loan at Leyton Orient because of injury.