West Ham United U21s have been drawn into Group C of the 2017/18 Checkatrade Trophy, along with EFL League One side Bristol Rovers, and EFL League Two sides Swindon Town and Wycombe Wanderers.
The 16 Category One entrants include the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, Spurs and Everton who will join the 48 League One and League Two clubs in the group stage, which has been split into both a North and South grouping to help clubs with travel costs.
West Ham will play all three Group C fixtures away from home at the Memorial Stadium, County Ground and Adams Park respectively.
Academy Director Terry Westley, spoke about the upcoming season and the experience his young West Ham stars can gain from such an experience;
“Our games programme for the coming season is really tough, including these games in the Checkatrade Trophy.
"We have been promoted to Premier League 2 Division 1, meaning we will play the likes of Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton, and our top-flight status means we will also be taking part in the Premier League International Cup against sides like Benfica, FC Porto and FC Copenhagen.
"The experience the Checkatrade Trophy gives the players will see them tackle League One and League Two opposition, and that can only help them to reach the level we want them to reach.
"Not only will they benefit from playing in this competition, but there is the added carrot of the final being played at Wembley and, with more clubs entering this season, I don't think we are too far away from a top Academy side reaching the final.
"With such a challenging games programme, we will have to balance the needs of the players and decide who needs to go out on loan, who will benefit from playing in the Checkatrade Trophy and who will be part of our U23 squad."
Each victory will result in three points, whilst a draw will earn you one, however if the match is tied at the end of 90 minutes then a penalty shootout will take place to which the winner will receive an extra bonus point.
The top two teams in each group will progress to the knockout stage and the final will be played at Wembley Stadium in spring 2018.
BTH wish the U21’s all the luck for the upcoming Checkatrade Trophy games this season, as we pay close attention to their development in the coming year!