I was delighted to see that Rehanne Skinner had become the women’s manager after Paul Konchesky left the role after one season at the club. The 43-year-old had managed Tottenham Hotspur for the last two and a half seasons and left the job back in March after a few bad results.
She has also previously managed Leicester City back in 2006, and was the England assistant manager back in 2020 under Phil Neville after taking on a few youth national teams including both England, Wales and the Great Britain side. I believe Rehanne is the right person to take on the women’s managerial role, even with the fact she has managed Spurs.
She is a manager who is very experienced in the league, has managed a high calibre of players and she’s a manager a lot of players speak highly of. We needed a manager that has experience of the women’s game and a manager that wants to be at a club for a long period of time, so we can build as a club for many years.
As much as Konchesky didn’t do a bad job whilst he was manager, which included getting us to a semi-final, it was always going to be hard to stay together and grow if he was always set on a potential leave at the end of the season. I can genuinely see us improving heavily with her in charge if we sign players that fit her model and want to stay at the club for many years. So with this I can get over the fact she managed Spurs because she is the right person for the job right now.
She mainly uses the formation 3-4-3, which is a formation the Hammers have not played much under their previous manager so it will take time for the team to get around their new play style, which may also mean she will bring in some new players who she believes plays her style well. As I wrote in my last piece, new directors Karren Brady, Tara Warren and Nicola Keye made it clear that this season coming they want the women’s side to be getting closer to having a European campaign after being a stable WSL side for the last few seasons.
It has come to light that Karren Brady was one of the people who lead the managerial charge so she must believe that Rehanne is the right person to take the Hammers forward. By having some added funding and higher belief in our managerial position, hopefully things will start to look more promising going forward and we can be competing for Europe for many years to come and players are attracted by what we have to offer.
Whereas over the last few seasons many of our better players chose to leave and play for other clubs instead of trusting our model, these including Lucy Parker going to Aston Villa and Yui Hasegawa going to Manchester City. The one thing I was starting to get worried about was the amount of outgoings that were happening at the club with a limited amount of incomings and the reason why so many were leaving.
Since the end of the season we have lost manager Paul Konchesky, Hammers fan Kate Longhurst, Grace Fisk, Lucy Parker, Sophie Hillyerd, Brooke Cairns and Amalie Thestrup’s loan spell came to an end. Even though we still don’t know why so many chose to leave, since the new manager has come in there has been some added belief and she has already given Halle Houssein a professional contract.
Mel Filis and Abbey Stringer have also been offered a new contract which they both have signed. As much as I understand we were waiting until who the new manager was before deciding who to bring in, it is a must that we kick on and sign a few players before the season starts if we are looking for a top finish.
We will also need to bring in a few defenders due to quite a few leaving the club, especially highly-rated England international Lucy Parker. The fact that the World Cup is on and Rehanne is out there doing work for the tournament, it may be hard to sign players straight away but key targets need to be collected soon so we don’t miss out on any and hopefully we can enjoy another incredible season.