‘Our new coaches have been really great since taking over’

Katie Bottom tells David Blackmore of the new regime’s benefits

In the six years Katie Bottom has been with the Ladies’ first team, she’s endured more than her fair share of downs – and managers.

But two months on from West Ham’s takeover of the club, the 23-year-old is looking forward to a 2017 she hopes will yield better results, consistent performances and re-route the Ladies onto the path to the next level in women’s football. It comes as manager Greg De Carnys – who has been in charge alongside Josh Ewens and Karen Ray – has publicly stated how impressed he’s been with the Ladies squad so far.

But two months on from West Ham’s takeover of the club, the 23-year-old is looking forward to a 2017 she hopes will yield better results, consistent performances and re-route the Ladies onto the path to the next level in women’s football. It comes as manager Greg De Carnys – who has been in charge alongside Josh Ewens and Karen Ray – has publicly stated how impressed he’s been with the Ladies squad so far.

‘There have been a lot of changes this year but now the men’s side has taken us over, it really feels like things are settling down. Everything has been positive so far,’ the defender told Blowing Bubbles. ‘What’s impressed me the most has been the professionalism of the coaches and how professional their coaching style has been.

‘We get session planners in advance, all tailored to each individual, and players know what they need to be working on. ‘We’ve all got training kit and matchday kit, which is great, and we’ve also been using video analysis too. On a Tuesday when we come in for training, we look over the game on the Sunday and discuss the good things and the areas we can improve on.

‘It’s all these bits that are going to help take us onto the next level for sure.’ As for the new coaching team, she continued: ‘They were thrown in a bit at the deep end coming here but they have been around the men’s team and the academy and they know the philosophy of the club.

‘We are trying to match this philosophy on the pitch in the way we play and express ourselves. ‘Hopefully this will all lead to good results. The performances are there but we’ve just not been getting the results we deserve.’ In total, Katie has been with the West Ham Ladies for 12 years, having joined aged 11. She was honoured to have been made captain for a year from October last year and is now focused on continuing her development with the Ladies.

‘I think in all my time with the Ladies this is the most excited I’ve been about the future. Don’t get me wrong we’ve had some highs in my time here and I’ve learnt something from every manager I’ve played under but we’ve now got the backing of the club. ‘I think this, along with Greg and Josh, is key to pushing the ladies on to the next level. We know it’s not going to happen straight away and we are all signed up for it being a long process.

‘Personally, I am totally committed to this club and would love to be part of the future success of the club. ‘I feel like I’ve had my share of lows over the years so I’m really hoping now we can have a positive end to this season and I’m confident 2017 is going to be the best year yet with West Ham.

While there is excitement about what could be on the horizon for the Ladies, Bottom knows for the Hammers to enjoy a brighter tomorrow, they need to start getting results today. ‘Where we are sitting at the moment, we are in the relegation places,’ she continued. ‘We need to start picking up points from the teams around us and for the guys at the top of the league, we need to make sure we put in a positive performance and see what we can get out of it.

‘It always feels like we step up for the games against the sides at the top of the league and then the next week when we play a team closer to the bottom, it’s like we’ve put out another team. ‘On our day, when we’ve been training well and playing well, there are some teams in this league who are much higher up that can’t keep up with us but we just need to start being more consistent.

She added: ‘As soon as we get one good result, it will set us on our way. Hopefully it’ll come soon. We are not far off . ‘People have been looking at our results and making their mind up about how we’ve been doing but I can assure you what it says on paper and what has happened on the pitch have been very different recently.’

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