Hammers off to Hong Kong

A ten-man West Ham United squad were flying to the Far East for the HKFC IP Global International Soccer Sevens in Hong Kong on Tuesday.

The Hammers finished as runners-up in the Shield competition at the same seven-a-side tournament last May, and lost in the quarter-finals of the tournament-proper in 2008.

Led by reserve-team manager Alex Dyer, West Ham's youngsters have been paired in Group C with Glasgow Rangers, HKFC Captain's Select and Hong Kong-based Tuen Mun.

The Hammers will kick-off their challenge with three group-stage fixtures on 15 May, starting against Tuen Men at 3.31pm local time, followed by HKFC Captain's Select at 5.13pm and Glasgow Rangers at 7.12pm.

Depending on where they finish in the standings, Dyer's team will then move forward to either the Cup or Plate competitions the following day.

Dyer's squad consists of three professionals - Jordan Spence, Olly Lee and Anthony Edgar - and seven second-year scholars. Sam Cowler is the only goalkeeper, with defenders Jordan Brown and Callum McNaughton, midfielders Eoin Wearen and Nicky Barrett and forwards Ahmed Abdulla and Cristian Montano also travelling.

Academy Director Tony Carr, who has led the Hammers to Hong Kong in recent years, said the trip was a worthwhile end-of-season exercise.

"Alex Dyer has taken over my role of taking the squad to Hong Kong. I took two trips and this is Alex's second year. It's a good well-organised tournament. It's a long, long way, but as an end-of-season tournament, it's a good one to have and I hope the boys do themselves justice and have a good time."

West Ham are one of five English clubs taking part alongside Aston Villa, Birmingham City, Sunderland and non-league pair Sheffield FC and Eastleigh.

Celtic, Rangers and Ajax are also involved, along with a host of Asian club sides.

For more information about the tournament, click here.