Goal machine Hannah Gowland is huge loss to West Ham Ladies

After joining the West Ham Ladies at the end of October, Hannah Gowland was keen to quickly show manager Julia Setford what she is capable of.

The wet weather at the end of 2012 limited the amount of games she could play in so she gave everything in training in the hope of securing a place in the side for the first few games of the New Year.

Her determination was rewarded as she started and scored two goals against London Corinthians in the FA Cup on January 6 before scoring a goal in the league win over Gillingham the following weekend.

The 18-year-old then kept her place for the tough FA Cup trip to Leeds and again was on the scoresheet but her efforts weren’t enough to stop the Ladies being dumped out of the competition earlier this month.

The former Colchester United star then bagged a hat-trick as the Ladies stormed to a 13-2 victory in the county cup quarter final against Witham Town the week after to take her goal spree to seven goals in four games.

But now the teenager is set to endure a period on the sidelines after sustaining an ankle injury in the Ladies county cup semi-final defeat to her former club.

Speaking of her decision to join West Ham, Hannah said: “Lily Mellors and I were at Colchester United together and we weren’t enjoying it as much as we used to and we wanted a new challenge.

“We had quite a bit of success at Col U but wanted something different. Lily had a training session with West Ham and afterwards she said how much she enjoyed it so I went with her the next week and loved it there and wanted to sign for them.

“It was fun but the sessions felt like I learnt something new from them. The other thing which impressed me was that all the girls turn up for training which is great because you can work on things as a team. I was delighted to join.”

She added: “The whole team has welcomed me and helped me to settle. I already knew April Bowers, Danica Revell and Rosey Sullivan and was familiar with rest of team because I’ve played against them a few times.”

Asked about the Ladies’ chances of promotion this season, the forward continued: “I think we’ve got a good chance of getting promoted because we’re up there with games in hand.”

She added she didn’t know exactly how long her ankle injury would keep her out of action but she said she is determined to play again as soon as possible.

The West Ham United Ladies play their home games at Thurrock FC (RM19 1YN). For details of future games visit www.clubwebsite.co.uk/westhamunitedladiesfc

By David Blackmore

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