Hammers set for Shrimpers test

West Ham United will send a team to face League Two club Southend United on Monday evening.

The Hammers will make the short trip down the A13 to take on Phil Brown's Shrimpers at Roots Hall, with kick-off at the seaside set for 7.45pm.

With West Ham having returned from their pre-season tour of Germany on Saturday evening, the Hammers will send a squad containing both players with first-team experience and promising youngsters to face his former assistant's side.


"It'll be a brilliant experience for whoever plays," said assistant manager Neil McDonald. "I'm sure Phil will play his strongest team because they are getting very close to the start of their season.

"We had four young lads away with us who have impressed us in pre-season so far in Dan Potts, Elliot Lee, Pelly Ruddock and Seb Lletget. They'll all be really looking forward to playing on Monday because they've seen what the first team can do and have been on the edge and they want more of that.

"To play against what will be a strong Southend team will do them the world of good."

McDonald said West Ham fans would also have the opportunity to see other future stars in the making at Roots Hall, with the likes of Paul McCallum, George Moncur and Kieran Sadlier also set to be involved.

"This is a chance for them to stake a claim. They are slowly getting there. The ones we took away with us on tour to Germany aquitted themselves really well and this will be one of their biggest tests.

"It's a game against a team from League Two who were chasing promotion and were there or thereabouts in the Play-Offs last year. I'm sure they'll do the same this season under Phil Brown."

Sam Allardyce's No2 added that the chance to take on seasoned professionals like former Hammers youngster Freddy Eastwood would be a hugely beneficial experience for the young professionals.

"It's a total step up from playing Development football, of course. It's a scenario where they have to learn not to get beaten if they don't win. If you make a bad pass, it could cost you the game, when, with all due respect, if you do it in a Development Squad game you go on to the next game and try not to do it again.

"If you do it against first-team players, nine times out of ten they will punish you so it'll be a big test for the boys."

Southend finished eleventh in League Two last season, while also reaching the final of the Football League Trophy at Wembley, where they were beaten by Crewe Alexandra.

Brown has been busy in the transfer market as he prepares for his first full season in charge at Roots Hall, allowing four players to leave and bringing in new captain John White, Ben Coker (both Colchester United) and winger Will Atkinson from Bradford City.

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