West Ham United Ladies sign exciting WSL forward Amber Stobbs
West Ham United Ladies are delighted to announce the signing of exciting forward Amber Stobbs.
A speedy and creative attacker, Stobbs has represented Reading Women and Everton Ladies in the Women’s Super League (WSL) and joins the ambitious Hammers from the latter.
The London-born winger, who will also take on the role of Women and Girls Officer with the West Ham United Foundation, is excited about returning to her home city and helping West Ham fulfil their desire of reaching the top flight themselves in the coming years.
“I’m very, very excited to be here and excited about what’s to come and I just can’t wait to start rolling now,” she told West Ham TV. “One of the main reasons I have come is the ideas and ambitions of the club going forward now we’ve got decent backing, which will help endlessly.
“Also, I had a very good experience when I was out of season with my previous clubs and I trained with West Ham then, and at that moment I thought this was somewhere I could see myself, so now it just seems perfect time.
“I trained for a month or two here last Christmas time and I really liked the members of staff and even the training sessions themselves were what I would expect from a team which wants to progress in the correct way. It seemed like the perfect choice.”
Stobbs' signing has been welcomed by Ladies managing director Jack Sullivan and general manager Karen Ray.
"It's great to have Amber on board, she being experience from WSL and America and has played at a very high level!" said Sullivan. "She loves the project and we hope she can help us get promotion this season."
One of the main reasons I have come is the ideas and ambitions of the club going forward now we’ve got decent backing, which will help endlessly
"Amber brings us so much more than her exciting ability on the ball, her professionalism and desire to improve every day is exceptional," said Ray. "She is a very effective player who I am confident will help lead a young team to reach our aspirations.
"We are delighted that Amber has seen the ambitions of the club and believes in what we are doing, it speaks volumes of the training environment we provide.
"Amber’s positive attitude and work ethic both on and off the pitch have made her an incredible role model and we are confident she will excel in her new role as the Women and Girls Officer for the West Ham Foundation. We have no doubt that young girls will aspire to follow in her footsteps and play for West Ham United Ladies."
Stobbs started playing football at the age of six and began her career with Chelsea Ladies as a schoolgirl, before taking up a soccer scholarship in the United States with Hofstra University in Long Island, New York, in 2010.
There, she helped the Pride twice reach the prestigious NCAA Tournament, scoring six goals and registering eight assists in 47 appearances over four seasons, while also turning out for professional club Washington Spirit in Maryland each summer.
There, she trained alongside United States international forward Crystal Dunn, goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris and defender Ali Krieger, gaining much-needed experience before returning to England with Reading in 2016.
“That was the best experience!” she recalled. “I went over there on a scholarship and it was obviously a great opportunity to play football full-time and get a great education.
“I ended up getting my under-graduate degree in psychology and masters in sports science, then worked out there before coming back to England to play the game.”
“I trained alongside top players every day and that was an experience in itself and obviously you just learn from the best and hope you’ll get there one day.”
Stobbs continued her football education with Everton earlier this year, appearing four times as the Toffees won the WSL 2 Spring Series title earlier this year. Now, the qualified football coach has brought her game back down south.
“The game has come a long way from when I played in England at 17 before I went to America,” she observed. “Back then, I was the only girl in my area who played football, and I played for boys’ teams growing up.
“The professionalism in this country has brought it on a long way and the English national team did really well at the last World Cup, which made me feel I wanted to come back to this country and have that football lifestyle.
“I am now looking for somewhere to develop more on and off the pitch and there is no better place to do that than in my home city.
“I’m also very excited as I’m going to be working with the Ladies and West Ham United Foundation to help more younger girls into the game, which I’m massively passionate about.”
You can follow Amber Stobbs on Twitter @akstobbs.