Hammers skipper issues rallying cry ahead of Reading clash

Ben Wells


West Ham United’s U18s skipper Ben Wells has issued a rallying cry to his squad ahead of this weekend’s clash with Reading.

The Hammers youngsters host the Royals in a bottom-of-the-table U18 Premier League South clash on Saturday.

Steve Potts and Mark Phillips’ side currently have only a point on the board this campaign, though their opponents are little better off with just four themselves.

And Wells believes his side can turn their fortunes around if they can be more ruthless all over the pitch.

He said: “The team is working really hard in training. Of course, we’re lacking belief because we haven’t yet got a win but the attitude is still positive going into the game.

“We need to be more ruthless in front of goal and defending as a team as well. That’s what we need to do on Saturday.

“Everyone’s keen to get our first win and we know we have the quality because we have dominated possession in a lot of the games we have been involved in so far.

“It’s just that ruthlessness lacking but if we can do that I’m sure we can get a good result.”

Wells was appointed captain at the start of this campaign following a number of last season’s more experienced players stepping up into the U23s.

Joe Powell, Jahmal Hector-Ingram and Anthony Scully are all featuring for the 23s while last season they were key players in Potts and Phillips’ side.

We need to be more ruthless in front of goal and defending as a team as well. That’s what we need to do on Saturday

Ben Wells

Ben Wells
Hammers fan Wells admitted that has had an effect on the side but believes it is up to the whole team to step up.

“We do have a younger team this season,” he explained. “Last year we had more experience at this level but it’s good because it allows us all to gain more experience and play more football at this level.

“I feel that I’ve grown into my leadership role as captain this year. I think that my communication on and off the pitch has certainly improved.

“I’ve also trained with the 23s a lot and this has helped, too.”

Not only has Wells trained with Terry Westley’s squad, but the centre-back also featured for the side in both their Premier League International Cup ties this season, against London rivals Tottenham and Spanish outfit Villarreal. 

“I felt as though I’ve learnt a lot from being selected for those squads,” the youngster continued. “It’s been a privilege to be part of it but I need to keep working to improve.

“The experience I’ve got, I’ve tried to put into practice in games and training and hopefully that will pay off against Reading on Saturday.”

The U18s’ match at Little Heath against Reading kicks-off at 11am on Saturday 21 October.