Hammers Girls win Kickz National Cup

West Ham United Girls won the 2013 Kickz National Cup on a memorable evening at the Boleyn Ground.

The Hammers won six and drew one of their seven matches to finish top of the eight-team group ahead of runners-up and pre-tournament favourites Newcastle United.

The Kickz National Cup celebrates the work of Kickz, a Premier League Creating Chances social inclusion project involving more than 40 Premier League and Football League clubs across England.

Launched in 2006 by the Premier League and the Metropolitan Police, Kickz has the aim of using football to bring communities together and engage with young people. It has since expanded nationwide to include more than 100 projects run by more than 40 Premier League and Football League clubs.


Coached by West Ham United Community Sports Trust Kickz co-ordinator George Chukwuma, the winning Girls squad of captain Megan Burrows, Katie Bottom, Sophie Reed, Tayla Everett, Chana Martins, Holly Flynn and Sally Duggan were in top form all night, scoring 22 goals and conceding just three.

Burrows and Bottom - who also plays for West Ham United Ladies - were the stars of the show, linking up superbly in attack to leave their opponents chasing shadows. Bottom scored eight times, while Burrows scored five goals. Martins also added a fantastic hat-trick in a 7-0 win over Barnet.

Indeed, only a late Newcastle equaliser prevented the Hammers from enjoying a perfect night on home turf. Reed scored the only goal from the penalty spot in an opening 1-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers before a Bottom brace and one from Burrows saw off Fair Play trophy winners Millwall 3-1.

Burrows and Bottom scored again in a 2-1 win over Everton and Bottom's goal looked to have also overcome an impressive Newcastle team, only for the Magpies to snatch a late leveller following a defensive error.

Chelsea were defeated 6-0 thanks to a Bottom hat-trick before Martins' treble saw West Ham comfortably brush aside the challenge of Barnet.

Results elsewhere left the Hammers knowing they needed to beat Brighton to make sure of the title and, following a nervous start, Burrows and Bottom combined again to score a goal apiece in a 2-0 win.

Kickz Girls

The victory sparked celebrations among the players, coaching staff, family, friends and Trust volunteers, apprentices and trainees who supported the evening as administrators, stewards and ball boys.

All in all, it was a fantastic Friday evening for the West Ham United Community Sports Trust. The Hammers' Under-14 Boys competed in their own tournament at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday, alongside the Under-16 and Under-18 National Cup finals.

You can watch the Girls win the Kickz National Cup on West Ham TV here.

More than 45,000 youngsters take part in Kickz projects every year, earning thousands of educational qualifications and valuable lifeskills. Each week, players take part in two nights of football (coaching and competition) and a third 'flexible' session focusing on anything from other sports to music or developmental activities such as drug awareness, healthy eating, volunteering, career development and anti-weapons workshops.

One of the main aims of Kickz is to encourage volunteering and create routes into education, training and employment. More than 4,200 young people have volunteered at projects, with more than1,000 football-specific qualifications achieved in the process. Nearly 400 people have gone on to gain employment with clubs, including a number at West Ham. Two of the Hammers' young volunteers, Philip Brown and Jeremiah Kamanzi, were honoured at the 2013 Kickz Awards in April.

For more information about Kickz and other West Ham United Community Sports Trust projects and initiatives, click here.