Hammers set for Magpies' showdown

The Dev Squad are primed for Monday's encounter with Newcastle United U21
West Ham United’s Development Squad return to action against Newcastle United U21 on Monday 21 September at the Boleyn Ground.

The young Hammers are looking for their first win of the season after a tough run of fixtures.

Admission for Monday’s clash is FREE for all fans in a move to boost support for the Dev Squad.

In what should be an exciting game under the lights, Academy Director Terry Westley is hoping for a big crowd to get behind his charges: “I think you saw how positive an effect playing in the Europa League, in a full stadium, had on the likes of Lewis Page, Josh Cullen and Reece Oxford.

“It’s a whole new experience that players need to adapt to but also thrive on.

“Even at a younger level, I would hate for a scholar never to play in a home stadium, we’re fortune enough that we get together and give our players that opportunity.”

One of those players to experience playing at a capacity Boleyn Ground is last season’s U21 top goalscorer Elliot Lee.

The striker opened his account senior account with a match-winning strike against FC Lusitans before notching against West Bromwich Albion U21 in a narrow 2-1 defeat.

“To score out in Andorra was fantastic for me; it’s something I’ll never. I think the first team experience helped all the youngster lads which bodes well for the future.

“All the boys enjoyed playing in a packed stadium at the Boleyn. Hopefully on Monday that’ll be different and we’ll have a big crowd in, full credit to the Board and Terry for supporting this because it is important.”

“It’ll be a great night against Newcastle and all the boys are looking forward to it. I’m expecting us to be at the top of our game, it’s harder when we’re playing at training grounds. On Monday we don’t have any excuses.”

Another player likely to feature is highly rated Norwegian winger Martin Samuelsen. The 18-year-old has been in scintillating form since joining from Manchester City, scoring a phenomenal long range effort against Blackburn Rovers last time out.

“I got 30 minutes against Birkirkara which was a good experience; I’ve had a taste of playing at the Boleyn, under the lights, so I can’t wait to do it again.

“With a crowd in, it’s a fantastic atmosphere, a nice pitch and a great stadium. It’s just a great place to play football really.”