Dev Squad to take on Dev's squad

West Ham United's Development Squad will continue their pre-season preparations by making the relatively short journey to take on Alan Devonshire's Braintree Town on Wednesday evening.

Nick Haycock's young Hammers will hope to maintain a promising start to their 2013/14 schedule when they head to The Amlin Stadium for a 7.45pm kick-off.

After thrashing Swansea City 4-0 at Little Heath on 16 July, the Under-21s pushed an experienced Wolverhampton Wanderers side all the way before going down to a narrow 3-2 defeat on Saturday.

Haycock knows Braintree will present a different sort of test for a squad lacking a number of its more experienced players - Dan Potts, Danny Whitehead, Pelly Ruddock, Elliot Lee and Sebastian Lletget are all with the first-team squad in Germany.

"We played Wolves away on Saturday and produced a good performance against a side containing the likes of Roger Johnson, Stephen Ward and Kevin Doyle and we were very unfortunate to lose," Haycock confirmed.

"George Moncur and Paul McCallum got our goals and we hit the crossbar twice through Blair Turgott and Sean Maguire, while one of their goals was a penalty and another possibly didn't cross the line.

"Braintree are a Conference National side and this will be a good game for the squad and particularly the younger ones. With five players away in Germany, we will again be giving chances to some of the first and second-year scholars, as well as our young professionals.

"We have played two high-level sides in Swansea and Wolves and now we're playing a top-level non-league team in Braintree, so these games present different sort of challenges to our young players. I'm certainly looking forward to it."

Hammers legend Devonshire's Braintree have also been busy in pre-season, beating League Two side Southend United 2-1 before holding another team from the same division, Portsmouth, to a goalless draw. On Saturday, the Iron were beaten 4-1 by League One club Colchester United.

Tickets for Wednesday's pre-season trip to Essex will be available through the turnstiles at The Amlin Stadium, priced £10 for Adults, £5 for OAPs and Under-16s and £3 for Under-11s. For directions to The Amlin Stadium, click here.

For the Development Squad's full pre-season schedule, click here.

*West Ham United Ladies will host Women's Super League side and Women's FA Cup winners Arsenal Ladies in a pre-season match at Thurrock FC on Wednesday evening, with kick-off at 7.45pm.