Ladies ready for big kick-off

West Ham United Ladies have undergone many changes over the summer - manager, players, home stadium - but one constant remains.

Right-back Vicki King joined the Hammers 16 years ago and now, at the age of 30, is looking forward to working under a player who was playing for the Club when she joined in 1998 - Julian Dicks.

The Dicks era will start with the FA Women's Premier League Southern Division opener with Queens Park Rangers on Sunday 24 August at 2pm at Honeycroft, the home of Uxbridge FC.


"Pre-season has gone really well," said King. "We've got a few new additions to the squad and Julian's working us really hard, but it's paying off during the games.

"I'm definitely enjoying playing for Julian. We needed a fresh set of eyes here and someone that was more objective and Julian is certainly objective.

"We also needed a manager that was going to work us hard and help us play some good football and I feel we are starting to do that now.

"The new players have integrated into the team very well. It's almost like they've been with us for years which is nice! Everyone gets along in the group and we are a strong team which is a positive on the pitch."

King has been in good personal form during pre-season, netting two goals in four games from long distance.

"I've doubled my tally from last season already!" chuckled the former Chelmsford City defender. "I just hope I haven't used up all my goals in pre-season as we'll be needing them when it comes to the league."

With their first league fixture at Queens Park Rangers to be played on Sunday, the Ladies are preparing for a League Cup fixture away at Somerset-based Keynsham Town Ladies this weekend before Dicks' first home league game in charge against Tottenham Hotspur.

"The team are ready for whatever is thrown at them this season. We've been working really hard and going forward, we look really positive. Perhaps we may need to straighten the defence out a little bit but we are working on it and it's coming together very well.

"The more support we can get this season the better. We already get quite a lot of support from the West Ham fans on social media which is nice, but to get some more faces down to Aveley for the games would be brilliant.

"Any game against Spurs means a lot to the girls and especially to me as a West Ham fan. We will be going out trying our hardest to get the three points, that's for sure!"

Overall, King believes that the squad should be aiming for a top-four finish in the FA Women's Premier League Southern Division this season.

"I don't think there is a limit to what the girls can achieve this season. I think we should definitely be looking at a top three or four finish this season, so that's what we will be going out to try and get."