Signs of promise

Women’s football is back! Oh how wonderful it is to finally say those four words after a 196-day absence.

Life as we know it changed in the snap of a finger in March and for those of us who had witnessed West Ham Women beating Liverpool 4-2 in February ahead of the international break, the season being curtailed seemed like a pipe dream.

A number of sports were suspended until a decision could be made as to whether they could continue in the new world of Covid-19.

Women’s football was one of those that made the decision to end prematurely. It clearly wasn’t a easy one to make for the authorities but with the knock-on effect heading into the 20-21 season and the costs concerning Covid testing, it was clear for all to see why such a choice was made.

Heading into the weekend just gone, women’s football was returning after a busy summer transfer window.

West Ham weren’t alone in players moving on and bringing in new additions to strengthen their squad.

Those signings somehow felt like normality as we continued to abide to social distancing rules — it gave us something to focus on away from the realities of a global pandemic.

So watching the Hammers walk out onto The Hive for the match against Tottenham Hotspur Women filled the void that many of us were missing.

We would have all loved to have been there for a match against our close rivals but until such a time as we are allowed, following the game from home is a worthy substitute.

After a patchy season where inconsistencies had let us down, our squad looked to have much more depth than ever before.

New signings such as Maz Pacheco and Katerina Svitokova slotted in seemlessly; clearly benefitting from spending time with the squad in pre-season.

We were treated to the further debuts of Emily Van Egmond and Rachel Daly, both of whom had positive effect when introduced on the field.

Adrianna Leon’s stunning goal brought us back into the tie after an unfortunate own goal from Grace Fisk while Mackenzie Arnold impressed as our new goalkeeper.

While there were moments throughout the 90 minutes when we clearly weren’t our best, securing a point from the tie was an indication of how far the squad has come a year on.

That wouldn’t have been a game we would have clawed our way back into and as some of our later additions to our squad settle in, the performances are only going to get better and better.

It offers hope. Hope at a time when many of us are unsure of how the world is going to look in the space of a week let alone where it will be in six months.

There’s still a long way to go and in what may be the most unusual of seasons, supporting West Ham Women is going to offer the greatest comfort of all.

Welcome one and all

When Jo and I first discussed increasing what she was doing with the WHUWSC, it was before both of us envisaged Covid-19 hitting the country and locking us down for several months.

I don’t think we were the only ones to think this as our lives changed in much the same way as a short, sharp, click of our fingers.

For those of us who spend our Sundays watching top-level women’s football, gone were the times spent at grounds, catching up with friends and cheering our team on. Granted there might have been some nervous moments throughout the 19-20 season for West Ham but the victory over Liverpool hinted something better was to come for our team.

Our plans may have been derailed by a global pandemic but trust me when I say, a lot of care and thought has gone into how Jo and I can build the community of those who support West Ham Women.

And when I say community, I mean it. Look at the increases in crowd numbers we had last season; the team is being embraced and as we enter a new era with our home games at Dagenham & Redbridge for 20-21, this growth is only on an upward trajectory.

When circumstances allow, we hope to run many of the things we have planned, including pre- and post-match meet-ups, but for the meantime we plan to take advantage of the technology that has leant itself as invaluable during this time.

So whether you’re a longstanding fan of the Irons, wanting to experience women’s football for the first time or simply want to absorb a new sport, then join us for the ride.

2019-20 season video review

The 2019-20 season may have been curtailed due to the coronavirus pandemic but up until February, West Ham Women had taken fans on a rollercoaster ride of a season.

We’ve compiled a look back at the matches, both home and away, that we attended while the season was in progress through a number of pictures and videos we took.

To watch the video, click play below.

Thanks very much to We Make Angels for allowing us to use their track ‘Time to Wonder’ to accompany the season review. You can find out more about We Make Angels and their music by heading to