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2013-02-09T10:00:00 Updated 2015-02-19T01:19:43

Mellors making waves

Since the beginning of 2013, West Ham United Ladies have been in decent form.

The Hammers started the New Year with a win over Gillingham in the FA Women's Premier League Southern Division and victory over London Corinthians in the FA Women's Cup second round before being edged out 3-2 by National Division side Leeds United in the third round last weekend. 

Midfielder Lily Mellors, who joined the Hammers from Colchester United back in November, is targeting a return to winning ways when West Ham host Witham Town in the Essex FA County Cup on Sunday afternoon. Kick-off at Thurrock FC's Ship Lane is at 2pm.

"I feel like I have made a positive start at West Ham, and am looking forward to a long as successful future as part of the team," said Mellors, who scored in the 3-0 victory over London Corinthians. "I just want to keep playing as well as possible and be part of a West Ham Ladies team that wins trophies and gets promoted to the highest level."

The 21-year- old midfielder's only previous club was Colchester United, who signed her up after being scouted while playing at a specially-run community football course. Mellors then worked her way up through the U's Academy before making her first-team debut.

"The first club that I joined was Colchester United at Under-10s level," explained the primary school teacher. "I was scouted while playing football at my primary school during one of the club's community after-school session. From there, they invited me to join the Colchester United Centre of Excellence."

Mellors spent 12 years playing for Colchester United's Centre of Excellence, helping them to become the most successful academy team in England back in 2010/11, before deciding to leave at the end of 2012.

"The majority of my time at Colchester was really fun and very enjoyable. My development as a player was progressive, especially during my academy years under the excellent coaching of David Coyle.

"During that period, we won all five major trophies that were possible during one year, making us the most successful academy team in the country. We also experienced success in overseas competitions in Spain, Sweden and Holland.

"My last two years at Colchester had not been going how I had hoped and I felt that I would not continue developing as a footballer by staying. If feel like I went as far as I could with them."

While looking for a new team, Mellors requested a trial with the Hammers, impressing Ladies manager Julia Setford with her performances to earn herself a contract at West Ham.

"I arranged to go training with them at my request, which went well and I was given the chance to sign up by the manager. Following my experiences of West Ham's training sessions, facilities and their plans for the future, I happily accepted."

Changing teams can be a tense time for any player, but after 12 years with Colchester, it was bound to be a strange moment for Mellors. Despite this, she found herself quickly settling in around very welcoming team-mates.

"It felt strange at first, but then very refreshing. I didn't know anyone personally but I kind of knew them from playing against West Ham. I was made to feel welcome very quickly, which made everything seem normal.

"I feel very settled in at West Ham. West Ham as a club have made me feel valued and have made the transition from Colchester very easy for me."

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