West Ham United U23s pre-season fixtures confirmed
West Ham United’s young professionals will be tested at home and abroad during pre-season.
The Hammers, who will be led by recently-appointed Academy Under-23 Lead Coach Dmitri Halajko, will prepare for the 2019/20 campaign with six matches against opponents from England, Slovakia and Belgium.
Academy Manager Ricky Martin says the schedule has been put together with a view to preparing the players for Premier League 2 Division 2, the Checkatrade Trophy and Premier League International Cup fixtures and the possibility of being called into Manuel Pellegrini’s first-team squad.
“We are delighted to be back at Chadwell Heath with the U23 squad, where the players have undertaken their pre-season testing,” he began. “Some of the young players have also gone with the first-team squad to Switzerland, where they will be chaperoned by Mark Noble and have a great opportunity to work alongside him and his fellow senior players.
“When they return, some of those players will return to the U23 squad for a trip to Slovakia before we come back to Chadwell Heath to finalise preparations for the Premier League 2 season.
“We are really looking forward to exposing the players to a variety of new experiences in different environments, pushing them and working as hard as they can with the aim of making the transition back to the senior squad.”
The Irons, who will compete in Premier League 2 Division 2, the Checkatrade Trophy and Premier League International Cup this term, will kick-off their preparations with the relatively short trip to Essex, where they will take on National League South side Braintree Town at Cressing Road on Friday 12 July at 7.30pm.
From there, Halajko’s squad will board a flight to Slovakia for a week-long training camp, during which they will tackle second tier FC Kosice at the Lokomotiva Stadium on Tuesday 16 July at 6pm and third tier FK Hummene on Saturday 20 July at 5pm. Both opponents were promoted as champions of their respective leagues last season.
On their return to England, the U23s will be on familiar turf when they face National League side Dagenham & Redbridge at Chigwell Construction Stadium on Friday 26 July at 7.30pm.
Four days later, the Hammers make their way around the M25 to Berkshire to take on their U23 counterparts at Championship side Reading in a behind-closed-doors training ground match at the Royals’ Academy.
And preparations for the 2019/20 season will be completed in Belgium on Friday 2 August with a prestigious fixture with Anderlecht in Brussels.
Fixtures for the Premier League 2 Division 2 campaign and draws for the Checkatrade Trophy and Premier League International Cup will be made in due course.