Potts - We're ready for a tough test

  • Former West Ham defender Steve Potts looks ahead to the Development Squad’s next fixture
  • The young Hammers face Dutch side PEC Zwolle on Wednesday
  • Potts, an Academy Coach, reckons it will be a tough fixture
Ex-Hammer and Academy Coach Steve Potts says the Development Squad’s clash against Dutch side PEC Zwolle on Wednesday will be a big test.
The squad, who are currently on tour in the Netherlands and training at partner club VVV Venlo’s ground, face the Dutch Eredivisie side at 3pm UK time in Arnhem.
And former full-back Potts believes the fixture will be the perfect challenge for the young players who have made the trip to Holland.
He said: “It will be a big test against Zwolle. Both our games out here are on astroturf, so we have to change our game accordingly and we want to keep the ball and move the ball on.
“We’re playing grown men now and you’ve got to stand up and be counted. Foreign teams tend to keep the ball really well and we’ll see where we are compared to them from that point of view.
“Slaven’s first team are forever working the ball well, and that’s the sort of quality we’re looking for from the young lads [on Wendesday].”
The Development Squad enjoyed fixtures over Chelmsford City, Peterborough United and Southend United back in the UK before they travelled to mainland Europe, where they will eventually face VVV Venlo on Saturday.
Potts continued and explained why trips away together can help the squad develop as both players and as people.
“These trips are good all round,” he revealed. “It’s good for pre-season training and the boys get away from the environment of home – what is Chadwell Heath at the moment. They do a bit of bonding.
“It’s important for team spirit. You only have to look back at the Euros recently to see how important team spirit is. Unless you’ve got that, it’s very difficult as a team. If you get that, you’re purely talking football afterwards.
“The trip has been good so far. The players have been working hard with the season only a few weeks away, and they’ve looked pretty sharp. They’ll be two good tests against foreign opposition.”