Captain targets cup to salvage season

Midfielder Stacey Little has spoken of her delight at being made the new West Ham

Midfielder Stacey Little has spoken of her delight at being made the new West Ham Ladies captain and her desire to life silverware this season. The 26-year-old was given the armband following Becky Merritt’s departure earlier this month and was the star player as the Hammers beat C&K Basildon on penalties in the FA Cup second round.

Speaking exclusively to Blowing Bubbles, she said: “I was so delighted to get the armband because it shows that the manager [Mark Saunderson] trusts me and thinks that I can do a job as captain. Everyone at the club knows how passionate and dedicated I am so it’s a massive honour for me to not only be able to wear the badge every week but to also now lead the team out.” Following her stand-out performance against Basildon in the FA Cup, the Ladies are gearing up to take on Watford in the next round.

At the moment we are taking things week by week but I hope we can start pushing ourselves up the league to where we should be,” Stacey continued. “I hope I will be able to lift some silverware this season and the Essex Cup is one that I have my sights set firmly on. We missed out on the final last year and lost in the final the year before so it’s time for us to be reunited with that trophy.

“It has been a tough season with quite a few players coming and going and us not doing as well in the league as what we would have wanted to so to win silverware would give something back to the club and the girls who have stuck with it and worked hard this season. “I’m feeling positive about the upcoming games and the second half of the season. “There has been a good vibe around training with all the girls and without having had many games for so long, the girls were buzzing to get that first game under their belts after so long.”

Asked about goalkeeper Toni Anne Wayne and forward Becky Merritt quitting the Hammers to join Brighton, Stacey added: “I was a little disappointed that they had decided to leave when we really needed stability in the team but I understand their reasons behind leaving and I wish them all the best at Brighton.” Apart from the Hammers game against Basildon on February 9, the Ladies hadn’t played since losing 4-2 to KIKK United in the London Capital Cup on December 15 and might not return to FA Women’s Premier League Southern action until midMarch.

“It has been massively frustrating for everyone not to have been able to play more games so far this year,” Stacey concluded. “Even more so for me because I had just come back from injury before Christmas and I played a game and a half before the Christmas break. “I am a bit worried about the back log of games. Mid-week games will have to be scheduled and that, along with training and an eight hour working day before playing a game, will be tiring.”

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