West Ham Ladies ready for a big finale as Super League news nears
PUBLISHED: 09:00 18 May 2018 | UPDATED: 10:43 18 May 2018
QPR visit Rush Green for final game of the season for double cup winners
West Ham Ladies are on the brink of rubbing shoulders with the top clubs in the country as they wait to see if their application for a place in the Women’s Super League has been accepted.
The team have come a long way since their troubling start to the season.
They were in a similarly precarious position to the men’s team in November and December last year, but their change of manager saw a magnificent transformation.
General manager Karen Ray took the helm in December from the struggling Greg De Carnys and they haven’t looked back since.
“In 2018 we have won 13 out of 14 games and won two cup competitions which is brilliant,” said Karen, who has Jack Sullivan – son of David – as her chief executive.
“I am very competitive and want to win everything, even in training,” explained Karen.
“We compete for everything. We have four-sided games where we pick our own teams and I think that sort of competive edge has given us the advantage over other teams.”
It has certainly worked. Second from bottom at Christmas, West Ham Ladies are now in mid-table as they go into their final match of their Premier League South campaign when QPR come to Rush Green this Sunday.
They have also won those two cup competitions as Karen proudly explains.
“We beat Charlton 2-1 in the Isthmian Cup and they are our league champions, while we played Luton in the WPL Plate final and beat them 5-0.
“I think the difference is we all sat down at the start of the year and realised that we had to be more serious in what we do in training and on the pitch. Everybody has taken that on board, we have a couple of new players too and we haven’t looked back.”
West Ham will find out whether they have been elected to the Women’s Super League on May 28 and they are hopeful they will get the nod.
“We haven’t had any hints from the FA, but we are the best prepared of all the teams in my opinion and we are ready to take our place,” said Karen.
They are looking to sign off in style on Sunday, just as the men did last week, by grabbing a victory in the final game of the campaign and they are hoping to make it a family fun day.
“We are hoping to get as many people down there as possible for the match and there are plenty of other things going on,” explained Karen.
There will be inflatables, photo opportunities with their trophies, foosball tables, a creative corner to design your own banner as well as refreshments, including the famous Ribman on hand.
Admission is free for season ticket holders, club members and under-16s, while adults will pay just £3. The last time they tried it, 1,300 people came down and they are hoping for something similar on Sunday
“We want as many people down to see just how much we have progressed in the last year and that we are moving forward and hopefully getting ready for the Super League,” said Karen, who will return to general manager duties if they make the Super League as the club will appoint a new head coach.
Ray and O’Sullivan attended the recent FA Cup final between Arsenal and Chelsea at Wembley, so how far behind them are the West Ham Ladies?
“We are talking about the best two teams in the country at the moment, so obviously they are a lot to live up to,” said Karen.
“Obviously we would have to recruit some new players, but I don’t see us being out of place in the Super League, we would love to give it a go.”
They will know soon enough if they will be granted that chance and in the meantime, why not pop down to Rush Green on Sunday and see just how capable they are.
At QPR earlier in the campaign, the double cup winners won 10-0 and they will be looking for another emphatic win.
Gates open on what should be an entertaining afternoon at noon, with kick-off at 2pm. Why not give it a go?