Alex Pike enjoying pre-season tests



Alex Pike is pleased to have recovered from the injury that cut short his promising campaign last season and says he is ready to seize any potential opportunities this year.

The 20-year-old was hugely impressive for the U23s over the first half of last season before joining Sky Bet League Two side Cheltenham Town on loan in January.

However, after making just five appearances with the Robins, Pike was forced to call time on his stay in Gloucestershire and he underwent hernia surgery at the end of last season.

The right-back recovered from his injure setback as he aims to get plenty of game time before a long season at West Ham or potentially back out on loan.

“It’s always good to get the minutes in in pre-season,” admitted Pike. “I played a little bit longer tonight [against Colchester] so it was tough but it’s part of the game.

“I thought I did alright. I’m still a little bit rusty as it’s still early on in the season but I feel as though I was better tonight than I was against Barnet.


“It just feels so good to be back playing. Any lad just wants to play football, it was frustrating being injured but the important thing is I’m back now and I feel fit as ever.”

Terry Westley’s U23s take on Vanarama National League side Dagenham and Redbridge this Saturday, with the match taking place at the Chigwell Construction Stadium. The venue is also where the PL2 Hammers play their Premier League 2 and Cup fixtures.

It will be the third time in the space of seven days that the U23s have tested themselves against senior sides and Pike believes these sorts of tests are required to take young players to the next level.

“It’s very good for the lads (to play against Football League opposition), because it prepares us for the Checkatrade Trophy when we come up against that sort of opposition and it gives us experience of men’s football,” he added. “It is definitely worthwhile and we’re happy to have these sorts of test provided for us.

“I’m looking forward to the trip to Slovakia but we have another important match on Saturday. Dagenham are another very experienced side and it will be another good opportunity for the boys to get some minutes against a tough team.”

Tickets for Saturday's 3pm kick-off at the Chigwell Construction Stadium are priced at £12 for adults and £6 for concessions.

West Ham United U18s are also in action on Saturday as they host Crystal Palace at Little Heath. Parking and admission are both free for the 11am kick-off.