Win double for youths

West Ham United's Academy secured a win double over two Japanese touring teams at Little Heath this week.

With the Hammers' youth teams without league fixtures this weekend, a select College squad from the city of Osaka visited West Ham as part of a tour of England that also saw them take on Tottenham Hotspur earlier in the week.

A mixed Under-15/16 team beat their Japanese opponents 6-1, while a mixed Under-16/17 side overcame the visitors 7-1. Despite the one-sided appearance of the scorelines, Academy director Tony Carr said both matches had been competitive affairs.

"The scores suggest the matches were fairly easy but that was not the case in either game," he said. "The fixtures gave us a chance to blood a few younger players and also look at a few trialists. They were good workouts for our boys, as we have not got any league games this weekend. The matches were certainly preferable to training."

Thursday's matches came about through contacts Carr had made during the Academy's successful trip to the Hong Kong Sevens tournament last summer.

"I knew the coach of the Japanese sides and he was delighted to have the opportunity to bring his players to Little Heath. They had been on tour in England and had already played matches at Tottenham and a couple of other clubs.

"As you would expect from a Japanese side, their players were very fit but they struggled a bit with the aggression and pace of the English game. We caused them all sorts of problems from set-pieces, but the matches were still a good exercise for our players."