Reserves head for Everton

West Ham United begin their challenge for the Barclays Premier Reserve League title with a trip to Everton on Tuesday.

Alex Dyer's squad have contested no fewer than eight pre-season friendly matches in preparation for the 2010/11 campaign, defeating Crystal Palace and Leicester City along the way.

The Hammers will begin with a trip to Everton's Finch Farm training ground to face the Toffees on Tuesday, with kick-off at 2pm. Dyer could have a number of first-team squad members at his disposal, including New Zealand FIFA World Cup star Winston Reid, who has recently returned to full training.

The manager has urged his players to start the new season on a high against a Toffees side that has drawn at Chelsea and beaten Wolverhampton Wanderers in its opening two matches.


"I'm looking forward to it and the boys are as well," said Dyer. "They are chomping at the bit and are ready to play. Hopefully we can go up to Everton and put in a good performance and get a good result. It's important this year that we just don't think about the performances. Let's see if we can get some results, because that's what counts.

"They are all big games for us. I want us to start the season off with the right attitude - the attitude that this is our job. I want us to go there and put a good performance in but not come away without a result. This is my third season as reserve-team manager and I want to put some results together.

"I want the boys who play in the reserves to play with the right attitude, the right application and to approach the game well in the right way. If the boys in the first team see that the reserves have put in a good performance, it will give everyone around the club a bit of a lift.

"For whatever reason you are in the reserve team - whether you are not in the first team, you are generally a reserve-team player or a youth-team player - there are reasons to want to do well and impress."

The Barclays Premier Reserve League has been reshaped for the new season, with the 16 competing teams now split into three divisions.

West Ham are in the Southern section alongside Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers, with the Hammers taking on each of their division rivals home and away.

Dyer's squad will also take on the ten teams in the two other divisions - Northern A and Northern B - once each, making for a 20-match season. Everton are currently top of Northern B, having taken four points from their opening two matches.

The winners of the Southern section will then take on the winners of a play-off between the Northern A and B divisions to determine an overall champion.