Carr looking to Cambridge

A youthful West Ham United XI will make the short journey up the M11 to face Blue Square Premier promotion favourites Cambridge United on Saturday.

With the first-team squad away on pre-season training camp in Austria, Academy Director Tony Carr will take charge of the Hammers at the R Costings Abbey Stadium.

Carr is expected to name a young side, with the likes of forward Cristian Montano, who scored the winner in the first-team friendly at Grays Athletic on Sunday, likely to be involved as well as Iceland Under-21 centre-backs Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson.

Young defenders Matt Fry, Tony Brookes and Jack Lampe, who all signed their first professional contracts with the Hammers this summer, could also be in Carr's squad.

Under-16 duo Republic of Ireland youth international Eoin Wearen and England counterpart Robert Hall, who impressed at Grays, are also expected to be given another chance to impress.

At the other end of the experience spectrum, Scotland midfielder Nigel Quashie and former England Under-21 defender Calum Davenport could both be included.

Carr said: "It is very much a young side that we have got although Nigel and Calum will bring us a lot of experience. Those two have only been training for a week and we are expecting a tough match. Cambridge are a good club who only just missed out on promotion to the league.

"It should be a tough test for the youngsters and a good experience. Hopefully they will rise to the occasion and show what they are all about."

Cambridge have been installed as 8/1 third favourites for the Blue Square Premier title and promotion back to the Football League following a five-year absence.

The U's finished second in the table last season, narrowly behind champions Burton Albion, only to be beaten 2-0 by Torquay United in the play-off final at Wembley in May.

Cambridge possess a host of players with Football League experience and should present a stern test for Carr's youngsters.

Midfielder Andy Parkinson won the FA Youth Cup with Liverpool in 1996 before appearing in the League Cup final for Tranmere Rovers in 2000, while winger Courtney Pitt and forward Danny Crow have turned out for Portsmouth and Norwich City respectively.

Midfielder Paul Carden is also an experienced campaigner, having played for Peterborough United, Chester City, Rochdale, Doncaster Rovers, Blackpool and Accrington Stanley before joining the U's.

Cambridge, a former club of West Ham and Wales midfielder Jack Collison, also possess a number of promising youngsters who have attracted attention from Football League clubs.

The club has recently had the pitch at the R Costings Abbey Stadium relaid, with the surface earning praise from Blackburn Rovers manager Sam Allardyce following a pre-season friendly at the ground on Tuesday evening.

Tickets for Saturday's game will be on sale on the day priced at £18 for adults, £13 concessions and £10 for under-16s.

For details of how to get to the R Costings Abbey Stadium, click HERE