West Ham captain Gilly Flaherty says ending the season was the right decison

PUBLISHED: 16:00 13 August 2020

Gilly Flaherty of West Ham during West Ham United Women vs Arsenal Women, Women's FA Cup Football at Rush Green Stadium on 26th January 2020

Gilly Flaherty of West Ham during West Ham United Women vs Arsenal Women, Women's FA Cup Football at Rush Green Stadium on 26th January 2020

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

West Ham United Women’s captain Gilly Flaherty says Women’s Super League players urged the Football Association to cancel the 2019/20 season due to fears over their professional futures amid the coronavirus pandemic.”

The defender played all 14 of West Ham’s games in 2019-20, before the season was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic and her side finished eighth.

Flaherty moved to the Hammers in the club’s first summer as a professional women’s team, joining from Chelsea and was named the team’s first captain.

The centre-back has made 48 appearances in all competitions for the side to date, scoring one goal, and led the team to the Women’s FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium in May 2019

Flaherty told Sky Sports News: “I know a lot of fans were unhappy that we didn’t go back and I know they said ‘well, the men have gone back so why haven’t the women gone back?’

You may also want to watch:

“What fans don’t realise is that we were having chats. All the captains from the clubs were having zoom calls with the FA to talk about how we felt as players.

“We said if it were maybe a month after lockdown had happened, you could probably get players back, but there were a lot of players out of contract, there were a lot of players who weren’t comfortable after having three months to go back and play two games a week.

“We’re in a different position to the men financially, where potentially if one of us got a serious injury and was at the end of our contract, where do we go then? And there were a lot of people in that position.”

“What fans don’t realise is that a lot of the players after four months of being off, weren’t comfortable to go back. And the FA listened to that, the FA could have said ‘listen, you’re going back and you’re playing the games,’ but they didn’t, they listened to the players and they listened to how we felt.

“I think that’s what the FA did incredibly well.”

Flaherty added: “I feel like they’ve got women’s football in a very good place in this country, you’re talking it’s the number one league in Europe if not the world the way it is, and it’s about protecting that and making sure we do sustain it for the years to come, that five-ten years’ time we’ve still got a fully professional league going.”

The Hammers take on Tottenham Hotspur in a London derby to start the season on Sunday, September, 6 before hosting Arsenal a week later.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East London Advertiser. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Latest East London Sports News

Yesterday, 17:00

East London women’s first team started the season in style with a 3-2 victory over Bromley & Beckenham.

Mon, 16:13

Leyton Orient head coach Ross Embleton said he is “devastated” they have been forced out of the Carabao Cup without being able to come up against Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Veteran Ryan ten Doeschate helped Essex bat out a draw to hand his side the inaugural Bob Willis Trophy and their third first-class title in four years.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Redbridge picked up a 2-1 victory over local rivals Woodford Town in George Christou’s first match in charge after being appointed last week.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Jamie Porter has put Essex into a strong position as they shape up for the final day’s play in this Bob Willis Trophy clash at Lord’s where Somerset will resume on 227 for 7 and a lead of 191.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Sir Alastair Cook struck the 67th first-class century of his career when compiling 172 in the Bob Willis Trophy final.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Alastair Cook stroked his way to 172 as he produced an innings of the highest quality to put Essex on the cusp of a first innings lead in their Bob Willis Trophy clash with Somerset at Lord’s.


For the past six months, employers and employees have been adapting to ways of working from home. The green light has now been given to many people to go back to offices safely. From flexible hours and staggered starting times to deep cleaning, we’re getting ready for new ways of working.

School’s in for summer – and beyond – with health experts agreeing that pupils safely returning to their studies is “positively” the right thing to do. It’s vital for all children’s welfare, not just in terms of students’ future education but also mental and physical well-being, as well as social interaction of classmates.

The NHS Test and Trace system provides protection for family, friends, colleagues and the community, and is here to keep all of us safe and allow us to enjoy summer safely. We take a look at how the system is working and talk to one member of the thousands of team members about her experiences.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Latest from the East London Advertiser