West Ham United Ladies are gearing up for the start of the 2009/10 season as the club look to press on from the success of the previous campaign.

Tony Marshall's first team achieved a best-ever finish of third in the 2008/09 FA Tesco Women's Premier League South and are determined to do even better next time around. Marshall will continue to manage the side, assisted by head coach Alex Bonner, with club stalwart Julia Setford promoted to assistant first-team manager and Tracey Duxbury completing the coaching set up as first-team coach.

On the pitch, the side will be led by captain Carly Roache with Jess Barling undertaking the vice-captain duties. Colin Roache will continue to administer the first-team affairs. The signs are already positive with the Ladies quickly out of the blocks in their first proper pre-season friendly at the weekend.

Following on from good performances in tournament events over the last fortnight the Hammers, fielding seven players of 17 or under, notching an 8-0 victory against Old Actonians with Holly Griffin netting a hat-trick. The visitors had kindly stepped in at the last moment to replace original opponents Dagenham and Redbridge. Next Sunday, the first team travel to Birmingham City for another friendly.

The reserve team settled for one goal less with a 7-0 win against Billericay Town - with last season's habitual goalscorers Dani Hoy and Sarah White both on target. There was also an early season start for the Under-12s who took on Senrab Under-13s but they went down 4-2 despite a spirited performance. The remaining junior sides featured at the Dagenham Town Show, putting on an exhibition training display in the Sportszone as part of the Countdown 2012 event.

As well as the opening league fixture away at Keynsham Town on Sunday 16 August, the Ladies are looking forward to taking on National Division opposition in the FA Tesco Women's Premier League Cup on Sunday 13 September. Opponents Millwall Lionesses were promoted as champions last season but will not relish a trip to Thurrock FC - again the home ground for the Ladies this season - to take on the Hammers.