West Ham Ladies midfielder Lindsey Morgan has praised the impact the Hammer’s summer signings have had so far this season despite the club’s indifferent start to their campaign.
A dramatic opening day victory against QPR thanks to a last-gasp winner from Kelley Blanchflower gave the team a perfect start before defeats away at Keynsham Town in the League Cup and Spurs brought the Ladies back down to earth with a bump before they beat Lewes. Morgan, 34, also scored against the R’s on the opening day and said the new players signed by manager Julian Dicks had helped to strengthen the squad massively and is predicting a good season for the Hammers.
‘We now have options in every position on the bench which is really good for us as the season is long and strength in depth will be needed to get through all the league and cup games,’ the 34-year-old said. ‘Each of the new players have brought in their own strengths; you’ve got the pace of Emma Sherwood, skill of Vicky Kinsman, strength of Ruby Baxter, and a ‘keeper in Nikita Runnacles who is quick off her line and a brilliant shot stopper. It’s nice to have some different personalities in the changing room too and the new girls have all fitted in the squad really quickly – it feels like they have always been here.
‘If we can keep the team spirit and passion we have shown in our first few games, I believe we are in for a good season. We have fight and togetherness which is important and the new girls want to impress. The girls who were here last season have also stepped up their game because we all want to be in the starting XI and hopefully we are giving Julian a bit of a headache with his team selection.
Two years ago, Morgan had to be talked out of hanging up her boots by fellow senior members of the squad and admits she was glad she was persuaded to continue playing. ‘It is a tough decision to give up the club and sport you love but the players wanted me to stay on and I haven’t looked back,’ she continued.
‘I’m still loving the game and can’t imagine not playing. I might be the oldest member of the squad by a good few years but while I’m still able to play and I can keep up with the young girls coming through, I’ll be staying. Playing in midfield with Stacey [Little] is a pleasure because we complement each other’s games because we are different types of players. ‘She is a great captain and her passion and love for the club is second to none. You can never fault her efforts for the team at training or in games.
‘As vice captain, Stacey and I get on really well on and off the pitch, she loves West Ham and we are both proud to pull on that shirt every Sunday. The club means everything to us as players and people.’ As for the West Ham Ladies’ new boss, Morgan believes the Terminator, who writes a monthly column for Blowing Bubbles, will continue to attract the players the club needs to be competing at the right end of the table.
‘To have an ex-pro coaching and managing us, we couldn’t have asked for more,” she continued. Last season was my worst season at the club. As it drew to a close, we were manager-less with players all over the place. ‘It was tough but the girls who stuck with it deserve to have a great season. Football has its ups and downs but now the only way we are looking is up.’