Westley - It was a good experience

Terry Westley described the Chelmsford City friendly as ideal preparation for the season
Reflecting on the Development Squad’s 2-0 defeat away at Chelmsford City, Academy director Terry Westley described the pre-season fixture as ideal preparation for the competitive season.

Westley named a young side mixed with the experience of first team regular Michail Antonio and debutant Ashley Fletcher.

In total, Westley used 21 players in an effort to raise as the squad’s fitness as much as possible, while giving U21 debuts to Mason Barratt, Ben Wells, Rosaire Longelo and Korrey Henry.  

Speaking at full time, Westley said: “It was a tough game, like we expected it to be and we got from the game exactly what we wanted.

“They were a very physical, determined side so it was a good learning curve for our younger players in particular, and all round it was good for fitness. Overall, there are plenty of positives for us to take.

“In the first half, with Michail, Ashley, Josh it was more about fitness because we knew we could handle them, and we were the better side.

“In the second, we were a lot younger and we knew it would be difficult. We never gave up, and still played the way we want to, so I’m happy.”

Now, Westley has just four days until the young Hammers’ next friendly, an even bigger test away at Peterborough United on Tuesday 19 July.

The experienced coach continued: “We know Tuesday is another huge test, but more than anything it’s another great experience as well as an opportunity for our younger players to show what they can do.

“We don’t want it to be easy because, if it is, we don’t get as much from the game. We had a number of players away with the first team in the US and same with Austria. So Tuesday is really a good chance to showcase their talent.”