West Ham United Ladies held a highly-successful Junior Trials on Sunday, with a record number of girls trying out for a place in the U14s & U16s teams.
Over 250 girls are signed up for trials this summer, with the programme continuing on Saturday June 24 for players in the U10s and U12s categories as the Ladies look to establish themselves as the Academy of Football in the women's game
First team manager Greg de Carnys and eight first team Ladies players were on hand at Beckton with advice for the youngsters, as they look to pass their knowledge down to the next generation of Hammers stars.
Hot on the heels of last week's announcement of Rich Energy coming on board as the Ladies' Official Energy Drink Partner, the excitement around the Club continues to build towards the start of their senior team's FA Women's Premier League campaign.
West Ham Ladies Managing Director Jack Sullivan said: "We were thrilled that a record number of girls have signed up for trials across the two dates, and it was great to see so many talented youngsters at Beckton on Sunday.
"We are planning meticulously across all levels at the Club to push ourselves forward, and I'm looking forward to seeing a number of the players who tried out at the weekend develop with us and push towards the first team over the coming years.
"These are exciting times for West Ham United Ladies and it's clear from the interest in playing for us that this excitement is shared right across the board."
Ladies General Manager Karen Ray added: “The FA have launched a new initiative that aims to double participation for females in football. At West Ham United Ladies we aim to provide a world-class talent pathway that encompasses the Club-wide philosophy and core values through our Junior Academy.
“An integral part of the five-year plan for West Ham United Ladies is to develop the opportunities for talented girls aged eight to 16. The purpose of the Ladies Junior Academy is to develop players and well balanced young people who feel supported, safe and enjoy being a West Ham United player.
“To see over double the young girls signing up and participating in our 2017/18 trials compared to last year really does show the belief, support and desire to play for the Club. We are not shy in admitting our desire to become the Academy of Football for girls over the coming years. This is just the very start of a successful journey and I am proud of all the hard work going on behind the scenes.
“Having so many young talented girls being supported by eight West Ham United Ladies senior players really does highlight the dedication and love everyone has for the game, and for the club. This is an exciting time for everyone involved.”
Greg de Carnys, Ladies manager, commented: "It's great to see the amount of girls that turned up to the trials and it shows the progress being made by the Ladies department at West Ham United with record numbers trying out for a place. All of the football on the day was played in good spirits and at a high intensity, despite the unusually high temperatures.
"As the new Academy Director I am excited at the prospect of taking the Academy forward by developing young players, providing them with the appropriate level of challenge in games & training, and ultimately giving good young players a pathway to the highest level of Ladies football in this country, giving them the opportunity to break into the first team here at West Ham, rather than losing them to American scholarships for example. The youth academy is a massive part of getting the first team to to WSL1 and keeping them there for years to come."
There is still time to sign-up for trials in our U10 and U12 age groups, with the sessions taking place at the West Ham United Foundation in Beckton on Saturday June 24. Sign up now by clicking here.
Senior trials are also set for Beckton this week, with interested players invited to sign up for the Tuesday June 20 date by clicking here.