U18s off to the seaside

West Ham United Under-18s will kick-off their pre-season schedule by making the short trip down the A127 for the Southend United Youth Tournament this weekend.

The four-team competition, which will take place at Roots Hall on Saturday 24 July and Sunday 25 July 2010, will also feature hosts Southend, Arsenal and Dutch champions FC Twente.

Tony Carr's Hammers will contest the tournament's second match by taking on Southend at 3pm on Saturday 24 July, with Arsenal taking on FC Twente at 11.30am.

The third-place play-off will kick-off at 11.30am on Sunday 25 July, with the final scheduled to get under way at 3.30pm.

The tournament will give West Ham supporters their first opportunity to watch the club's new intake of first-year scholars in action for the U18s.

England U17 forward Robert Hall, who helped his country to UEFA European U17 Championship glory earlier this summer, could be one of the star attractions, while former England U16 midfielders Blair Turgott and Matthias Fanimo will also be out to impress.

Arsenal's U18 side have a fantastic recent record, winning the FA Premier Academy League Group A championship last season before defeating Nottingham Forest 5-3 to retain the overall Premier Academy League title.

Southend, who also have a good pedigree for producing young players, ended the 2009/10 campaign by finishing fifth in the Youth Alliance South East Division table.

Twente, meanwhile, finished seventh in the Dutch youth league last season.

Tickets are priced at £15 for adults and £8 for concessions for both days and £10 for adults, £5 for concessions and £1 for children for a single day. Tickets for are on sale now from the Blues Box Office by calling 08444 77 00 77.