West Ham United Ladies ambassador Michail Antonio has welcomed new signing Amber Stobbs to the Club.
The Hammer of the Year was on hand at Rush Green to meet fellow London-born winger Stobbs, who will combine her role as a first-team player with that of Women and Girls Officer with the West Ham United Foundation.
The pair spent time touring the training ground and talking about their respective careers and ambitions, as well as their shared target of increasing female engagement and participation in the sport.
Stobbs told Antonio she hopes the Hammers can challenge for the FA Women’s Premier League Southern Division title this coming season.
“Obviously we have got goals as a Club to climb the ladder in women’s football coming up in a few years,” she explained to the No30. “This year, the aim is obviously to get good results and get the foundations that we need to get to where we want to be.”
I came through the non-league route and I am always intrigued by grassroots football and their foundations
Former non-league star Antonio has always been keen to promote the game’s grassroots, whether that be by coaching youngsters at his first club Tooting & Mitcham, running his own soccer school or in his new role encouraging more girls to take up football.
“It was just one of those things where growing up, I came through the non-league route and I am always intrigued by grassroots football and their foundations,” he told Stobbs. “I started up my own soccer school, and I always want to give back.
“I’m not just thinking about the boys, it’s also for the girls. I like to see how West Ham have taken the step forward in bringing the women’s team as part of the Club. I like that they’ve asked me to be a part of it and to try and help and to boost the popularity of the women’s team.”
The attacking duo also discussed their respective targets for the 2017/18 season, long-term ambitions and approaches to football in a revealing West Ham TV interview.