Big day for the Academy lads



Big day for the Academy lads

It’s a big day for the Academy lads with the U21s meeting Olympique Lyonnais as they press on in their Premier League International Cup campaign . The young Irons have scored wins over Valencia and Celtic so far in the competition, scoring six goals whilst keeping clean sheets in the two games. And that has seen the team coached by Steve Potts continue on a 12-game unbeaten run in all competitions.

The competition involved  12 of England’s best Academy sides against 12 of the top development squads in the rest of Europe. And it is organised by each side from Premier League 2 and 12 teams from European Academies being split into three groups of eight. It means that each PL2 club will play each of the four international clubs in their group ensuring they don’t meet each other and nor do the international teams play one another in the group stage.

The top two teams from each group and the two best third-placed teams advance to the quarter-finals, where the ties are decided in one-off matches, with extra time and then penalties required if the match is level after 90 minutes. After hosting Olympique Lyonnais today our final match against GNK Dinamo Zagreb to be moved to Friday 19 January 2024 from its previous date of Wednesday 6 December due to our involvement in the Bristol Street Motors Trophy last 32.

West Ham United U21s are currently top of Group A, with two games played. Lyon, Tuesday opponents, are in second, having also taken six points from their first two games.

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Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!"

Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon