Women’s football in England has grown rapidly over the past few years and the influx of Australian players and coaches has increased its profile and interest levels here.
West Ham United
West Ham United were signing Australians before it was the fashionable thing to do when they secured the Perth Glory prodigy Jacynta Galabadaarachchi on a two-year deal in 2019.
West Ham finished eighth last season, a slight backward step from their seventh place in 2019 where they also reached the F.A cup final against Manchester City and played in front of a bumper crowd of 43, 264 fans. The Hammers are becoming accustomed to some of the largest crowds in the league including an attendance of 24,790 people against Tottenham Hotspur.
They are well known for their 20-year-old director, Jack Sullivan, The appointment of the son of the clubs owner initially seemed like an insult to women’s football and it remains controversial (it’s inconceivable that he would be given a similar role in a top flight men’s side) but Sullivan has provided investment and supported coach Matt Beard and the players in their efforts to improve the team.
The Hammers have made five new signings in the off-season, including Matildas Goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold and Swedish striker Nor Mustafa. They do not struggle to create chances and the highly rated Mustafa will help their goal difference but a defeat to Reading after leading 2-0 demonstrates they can be scored against. Arnold along with defender Maz Pacheco will be expected to help solve their lapses at the back and things are looking positive for West Ham next season.
West ham have been a mid table team but as their form in knockout competitions shows they are capable of beating anybody on their day. They boast a longtime Australian fan favourite in Arnold and one of the most promising players of the next generation in Galabadaarachchi who has individual skill can be a delight to watch.
A year of Jacynta 🤩 pic.twitter.com/y5vrCZ6pEH— West Ham United Women (@westhamwomen) July 19, 2020