West Ham United U21s' Papa John's Trophy opponents revealed

West Ham United U21s will travel to Colchester United, Ipswich Town and Gillingham in the Papa John's Trophy Group Stage this season.

Dmitri Halajko’s side were drawn in Group A in the southern half of the regionalised draw that took place live on Sky Sports News on Thursday afternoon.

Hammers Academy graduate Anton Ferdinand made the draw, which will see his former side make short journeys to Essex, Suffolk and Kent.

West Ham and Colchester were also paired together last season, when a Conor Coventry goal secured a 1-0 victory.

The U's finished last season 20th in League 2, while Ipswich were ninth in League One and Gillingham one place lower in the same division.

This will be West Ham’s sixth campaign in the competition that invites Category One academies to face League One and League Two opposition. 

Last season West Ham progressed through the group stage, defeating Colchester, Portsmouth and Southend United, before Peterborough United ended their challenge in the Round of 32.

Fixture details for all three group stage matches will follow once confirmed.