Papa John's Trophy fixture details confirmed

Details have been confirmed for West Ham United U21s’ upcoming group stage fixtures in the EFL Papa John’s Trophy.

Dmitri Halajko’s side are once more one of the 16 Category One Academy sides invited into the competition, having been drawn in Group A in the southern section.

The Development Squad will kick-off a prospective road to Wembley with a trip to Portman Road to take on League One side Ipswich Town on Tuesday 14 September. Kick-off will be at 7.45pm.

The Hammers will then visit League Two Colchester United for a second successive season – having triumphed 1-0 at the Colchester Community Stadium last year. The two sides will meet again on Tuesday 28 September with kick-off scheduled for 7:30pm.

Finally, the U21s will make the short trip down to Kent on Tuesday 26 October to take on Gillingham at Priestfield. Kick-off for that contest will be at the slightly earlier time of 7pm.

Last season, West Ham’s U21s progressed to the knock-out stage of the competition from a similarly competitive group, before being beaten by Peterborough United in the last 16.

It will be West Ham’s sixth entry into the EFL Trophy since Category One Academies were invited to join the competition back in 2016. The tournament represents a fantastic opportunity for our young players to acquire valuable experience against senior Football League opposition.