The West Ham Women’s season kicked off against Manchester City earlier this month but how excited should we be about this upcoming season? Looking back to the end of last season and the opening of the summer transfer window, and it didn’t start as well as I hoped with five players leaving, including club legend Kate Longhurst and England international Lucy Parker.
Longhurst’s presence in midfield and also the defence won’t be the only thing we are going to miss, her passion and the leadership that she brings into every game will impact us most of all. With Lucy Parker, everyone around the club wanted her to continue her growth with us but she chose a different pathway by joining Aston Villa.
Parker has recently got herself into the England team and if she can stay injury free for a long period of time, she has a lot of potential to go on to be a top quality defender. Other players that left the club were; Grace Fisk, Sophie Hillyerd and Brook Cains.
We have made a few good signings of our own with our most notable being Japanese striker Riko Ueki who scored two goals in this summer’s World Cup and has scored 10 for her national team. She also knows Risa Shimizu and Honoka Hayashi from her national team. The 24-year-old signed from Japanese side Tokyo Verdy Beleza where she scored 14 goals in 19 games last season.
The Hammers also signed striker Emma Harries and Irish defender Jessie Stapleton. Due to the amount of defensive outgoings, bringing in Stapleton was a must. Harries will join our attack force of Vivianne Asseyi and Riko Ueki which will allow our new manager Rehanne Skinner to have options in who she wants to play in the number 9 role.
New Directors, new management and many new players. I think this could be a breakthrough season for us. There have been many changes in the last year at the club and hopefully that will work in our favour.
Last year we came 8th in the league after a brilliant start to the season but we couldn’t keep up that run. I hope this season we manage to start and end on good form and we can compete near the top of the table, unlike previous seasons.
We also managed to get to the semi-final of the League Cup last season. I am hoping we can make a final this season as that will already be a massive improvement on previous years. Our remaining league games in October are away to Brighton and Chelsea and at home to Liverpool.
We haven’t got the easiest start to the campaign as Chelsea have made some few good signings and will be trying to win the league yet again. But we should go out and try and get three points in the Brighton game and the Liverpool match as we are at the same level, and if we want to progress and compete near the top these are the games we need to go at and get the three points.