U18s off to Abu Dhabi

West Ham United's Under-18s will escape the wet weather by flying off to Abu Dhabi for a special youth tournament this weekend.

Having been out of competitive action since defeating Fulham on 11 December, West Ham's FA Premier Academy League match scheduled for Friday morning has been postponed due to a water-logged pitch at Little Heath.

Thankfully, the players will not have to wait too long to get back to playing football, as Academy Director Tony Carr will lead the party on an all-expenses paid trip to the inaugural Baniyas Youth Championship of Football.

The Hammers are one of four teams taking part, with hosts Baniyas FC, German side Hamburger SV and Egyptian team Al-Ahly the three other competitors.

West Ham begin with a semi-final against Hamburg on Monday evening before, depending on the result of that match, contesting the final or third-place play-off on Wednesday.

Carr said he and his squad were about the experience of both training and playing in a completely different culture.

"We will be in Abu Dhabi for six days and we have all been looking forward to the trip because it is something different and something new.

"It is the first tournament of its type being run by the Baniyas FC sporting club, who have very generously invited us on an all-expenses paid trip.

"We have been looking forward to doing some warm-weather training, which is certainly something different for us in the Academy.

"The itinerary we have will also give us the chance to visit the Formula 1 circuit there, which will be something to behold and we're also going to a place called Ferrari World, where you sit in a mock-up of a Ferrari and it whizzes you around like a Wild Mouse at Peter Pan's Playground on Southend seafront!"

For the latest news from Abu Dhabi, keep a close eye on whufc.com and the club's official Facebook and Twitter pages.