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Academy preview: U21s ready for pre-season fixtures against Ebbsfleet and Colchester
- Updated: July 27, 2023
West Ham United U21s step up their Premier League 2 preparations with friendlies against Ebbsfleet United and Colchester United this week.
The young Hammers will take on Vanarama National League side Ebbsfleet on Tuesday 25 July, before travelling to EFL League Two outfit Colchester United on Friday 28 July.
Ebbsfleet finished top of the National League South last season with 32 wins from their 46 matches, securing promotion to the fifth tier of English football, while Colchester United, finished 20th, taking 49 points, including 12 wins, across a hard-fought campaign in which they secured their EFL status.
The young Hammers, though, are ready to kick-on across the two pre-season matches, as their Premier League 2 opener creeps ever closer!
Off the pitch: Robson ready for stern tests for U21s
A quick turnaround between fixtures gives the U21s and lead coach Mark Robson the chance to become accustomed to the demands of the Premier League 2 season.
The young Hammers will, of course, play in the development league but can also expect further challenges in competitions such as the Papa Johns Trophy and Premier League International Cup. A busy fixture list, then.For Robson, friendlies against Ebbsfleet United and Colchester United give the U21s are chance to test themselves against sides from across the English football pyramid too.
The lead coach explained: “Both friendlies against Ebbsfleet and Colchester give the boys another chance to test themselves against experienced pros.
“A lot of our squad for this season are making the step up from the U18 level and others are pushing for first-team opportunities too, so it will be important they learn to deal with the challenges of coming up against experienced and more physical players from the Football League and National League.
“It’s an exciting season for the U21s next year, and we hope to put in competitive showings against two very strong sides ahead of the PL2 season.”