Premier League launch U21 Cup

The West Ham United Development Squad are to be involved in the inaugural Under-21 Premier League Cup when they enter the tournament later this season.

Nick Haycock's Hammers will enter at the round of 32 stage where they will be joined by all other Category 1 status academies and those teams who have come through the opening rounds.

The cup has been implemented alongside the Barclays Under-21 Premier League, in which the Hammers also compete, to create more opportunity for players to be involved in meaningful competition.

Fifteen Category 3 academies will be involved in the Qualifying Round One draw which took place on Monday and can be found below..

As there are an odd number of teams, one club shall receive a bye, as will be the case in the second round when 17 Category 2 teams enter the competition.

West Ham will then be joined by all other Category 1 academies and the 13 victorious Category 2 and 3 teams to take part in the round of 32, with matches being played the week beginning 18 November.

Every game of the tournament will be held at the home side's main stadium in a one-off tie, up until the final which will be played over two legs, one at each club's home stadium.

Should the Hammers progress to the latter stages of the competition they will be in action on the week beginning 22 February 2014 at the semi-final stage, with the first leg of the final taking place the week commencing 17 March 2014.

The Development Squad will have a chance to get used to the Boleyn Ground in preparation for the tournament when they face Manchester City on Friday 13 September.

The Barclays Under-21 Premier League clash will feature several of the players who appeared for the first team in their 1-0 friendly win against Espanyol last Thursday.

George Moncur, Pelly Ruddock, Sebastian Lletget, Elliot Lee and Matthias Fanimo could return to Haycock's team as they look to build on a 5-4 win over Newcastle in their last league outing.

Entry is free for season ticket-holders, £3 for adults and £1 for kids. The game kicks off at 7pm, and the Stadium Store and Ticket Office will both be open up to kick-off.

Qualifying Round One


Burnley v Wigan Athletic
Preston North End v Hull City
Doncaster Rovers v Notts County


Bournemouth v Plymouth Argyle
Peterborough United v Colchester United
AFC Wimbledon v Gillingham
Watford v Bristol Rovers
Exeter City v Torquay United
Qualifying Round One matches to be played week beginning 23 September 2013

Qualifying Round Two


Crewe Alexandra v Burnley or Wigan Athletic
Derby County v Preston North End or Hull City
Coventry City v Doncaster Rovers or Notts County
Sheffield United v Birmingham City
Barnsley v Leeds United
Huddersfield Town v Sheffield Wednesday

Bye - Nottingham Forest


Queens Park Rangers v AFC Wimbledon or Gillingham
Bournemouth or Plymouth Argyle v Watford or Bristol Rovers
Swansea City v Millwall
Crystal Palace v Exeter City or Torquay
Brighton & Hove Albion v Cardiff City

Qualifying Round Two matches to be played week beginning 21 October 2013

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