Academy Manager Ricky Martin is looking forward to seeing West Ham United U21s compete on the continental stage this season.
The Hammers development squad are set for action against elite young talent from across Europe this season, starting with the visit of AC Sparta Prague to east London on Tuesday evening.
The 2022/23 campaign will also see the young Irons face PSV Eindhoven, Feyenoord and AS Monaco, and Martin is eager to see how the U21s perform against European opposition.
“It’s great to once again see our U21s play against teams from across the continent,” Martin told whufc.com.
“We’ll be playing Sparta Praha in our first game, before facing PSV Eindhoven, Feyenoord and AS Monaco. They are four established European sides and I know our lads will be looking forward to it.”
With the senior side reaching the semi-finals of last season’s UEFA Europa League, and competing in this campaign’s UEFA Europa Conference League, Martin believes giving young players experience of playing European opposition is vital for their development.
The Academy Manager is eager to see how Mark Robson’s U21s line up against the European sides.
He continued: “Much like the whole Club has experienced in the last couple of seasons, it is a fantastic opportunity to play European football.
“With the first team doing so well in the UEFA Europa League, and playing in this season's UEFA Europa Conference League, part of our job in the Academy is to help prepare our players for games against European sides. It will be a very good experience for them.
“Our players will come up against different tactics and different styles. We know we will see different ways of attacking, defending, moving the ball in transition, and the game might look different.
“It will be an exciting test and we’re looking forward to welcoming each of our respective opponents to east London.”