West Ham’s U21s reached new heights as they knocked Bristol Rovers out of the EFL trophy.
Throughout the history of the club, West Ham have always prided themselves on having one of the best academies in the country. Last season the club’s youth sides ran riot, winning the Premier League’s U18 South division as well as the FA Youth Cup.
The brilliant form of these youngsters has clearly carried over to the new age group as, despite losing out on players who left on loan, the U21s have now won 6 in a row in all competitions. This great run of form hit its peak in their most recent match against Bristol Rovers first team.
The League One side led at half time, but an emphatic second half performance saw the young Hammers win 3-1 after a brace from Marshall and a goal from Earthy.
Lead coach Steve Potts admitted to whufc.com to being a bit disappointed with the overall performance in the first half and believed “the occasion had maybe got to us a bit.” He did however, confirm he was much happier with how his side did after the break especially after the equaliser in the 70th minute. “As soon as that went in, there was a massive uplift in belief from our team,” he confirmed.
The experience of playing against professional teams is so vital to young players and the EFL trophy offers such a unique opportunity to do so.
Without a doubt, it’s an excellent achievement for our Irons but they can’t celebrate too much as they’ve got a tough game against Southampton. The Saints have only won 1 of their opening 3 games in the Premier League 2 but, in all fairness, they’ve had some extremely tough fixtures.
Hopefully, the boys can keep up their impeccable form and extend their win streak. The important thing after a win like the one against Bristol is for them to keep themselves grounded but that’s not been an issue for them as of yet. It’s an extremely exciting time to be a fan of West Ham with so many exciting prospects coming through and it’ll be interesting to see which ones get opportunities in the first team this season.
By Charlie Bass