Women’s football is starting to grow at a fast pace with teams like Arsenal being able to sell out the Emirates and the Lionesses selling out any ground they perform at in England. The same can be said at West Ham with our Women’s, where attendances are increasing season by season but with their new directors, I feel we’re starting to grow as a whole and I’m excited about what is on the horizon.
When the trio of Karren Brady, Tara Warren and Nicola Keye joined mid-way through the past season, they made it clear that European football was in their sights, but we need to play our part by supporting the club and attending as many matches as we can. Let’s not forget also that every other Sunday, you can watch a team in the best league in women’s football, and that our team has been consistently in the WSL since 2018 and we’ve finished in the top six, five times out of the last six seasons.
Also, watching West Ham Women offers the most affordable football, with their home games often being £7 for an adult ticket and even cheaper if you already have a season ticket to watch the men. We saw tens of thousands of people attend the Conference League victory parade and with the London Stadium only being able to facilitate just over 60,000, there must be a good number of fans that will miss out on the match day experience so why not support the women’s team and help them also push for a European trophy?
With the women’s game progressing massively, especially in England and for West Ham, it is the perfect time to allow the younger generation to watch the accessible game and help promote the sport. Looking back at this season just gone and I’m sure they were looking to kick on after finishing sixth the season before, and they were sat in fifth at Christmas.
But since the turn of the year, it hasn’t planned out the way they would have liked or expected, and they ended up finishing eighth. Having many long term injuries to our defence, including England star Lucy Parker and French defender Hawa Cissoko, we started leaking many goals in the campaign, which became a major issue when we went on a goal drought after the Christmas break.
Paul Konchesky’s side did manage to get to a semi-final of the league cup, when we played Chelsea at home but unfortunately the result didn’t go our way. This was their first semi-final since we beat Reading on penalties to go to Wembley back in 2019. West Ham Women, over the last three years, have shown that they are a comfortable Women’s Super League club and, just like the men’s team, they need to start looking away from battling relegation to battling for a European place.
Now with the behind the scenes aspects of the club developing, it shows that our women’s side are starting to increase their growth on and off the pitch. They have started to add and promote younger players to add to our academy and first team including 16-year-old Princess Ademiluyi. Even at her young age, she has made one senior appearance for the first team, coming against Brighton and Hove Albion towards the end of the campaign.
With the Hammers having one of the older squads in the WSL they will be looking to use the youth more often in the next season. With West Ham Legend, Kate Longhurst, saying her goodbyes to the club there will be a new look to West Ham.
The 34-year-old is undecided what her next step in her career will consist of but one thing is for sure she will be cheering on the team as a fan next season and hopefully so will you. Let’s help and be the reason that the whole of West Ham can grow and fight for European football next season.