West Ham U14s bag Barcelona trip

West Ham United's Under-14s booked a trip to Barcelona after excelling at the Barclays Premier League's National Under-14 tournament.

West Ham stormed to the final with four successive wins, before losing out to Manchester City, who ended the tournament with an unblemished record of five victories.   

The young Hammers' exploits began back on 29 October, with regional qualification held at Tottenham Hotspur's training ground.

To their credit, West Ham, including three U13s, topped a tough group containing Spurs, Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Reading. They, together with runners up Chelsea, advanced to the annual national competition at Greenwich's London Soccerdome on 26 and 27 January.

Pitted against Manchester United, Fulham, West Bromwich Albion and Blackburn in Group A, the Hammers set about their business in some style.

After a 1-0 win over Fulham, the Hammers downed both Blackburn and West Brom by two goals to one, before completing their clean sweep with another 1-0 success against Manchester United. Their 100 per cent record saw West Ham top the group by an enormous six-point margin and set up a final clash with Manchester City.

Though City were to edge the final 3-1, West Ham's top-two finish earned them a trip to Barcelona in March, where they will take part in a four-team tournament, alongside local outfit Cornella, Manchester City and Barcelona's famed academy.

Head of Academy Recruitment Dave Hunt was understandably thrilled with the players' efforts, insisting their trip to Barcelona is richly deserved.

"It gives the boys a reward for their outstanding performances and hard work throughout the tournaments and season so far," he confirmed.