West Ham United Ladies assistant coach Myles Smith insists the side are not attending Wednesday’s Isthmian League Cup final simply to make up the numbers, as they seek to beat Charlton Athletic Women.
The Irons will play the Addicks in the midweek Cup final at Aveley FC’s Parkside Stadium, and head into the contest on the back of a nine-game unbeaten run in 2018.
West Ham’s opponents, Charlton, sit third in the Premier League Southern Division, and have only lost twice in the league this campaign, although one of those was an incredible 3-1 win for the Hammers at the Valley in October.
And Smith, while revealing his excitement for the match, says the Irons are going into Wednesday’s match with every intent of leaving with the trophy.
There’s a lot of work and effort that’s gone on behind the scenes by players and staff, and it would just be amazing. It would be amazing for all the staff and it would be amazing for all the players to be rewarded.
“I think everyone is lying if they say they don’t get nerves, but excitement is a big one,” Smith told whufc.com. “It’s the final and you’re there to lift the trophy at the end of it, and that’s what we’re going there for. We’re not going there to put on a good performance and not lift the trophy. We’re there to lift the trophy.
“I think it’s a very big night. It’s a chance for us to win silverware. There’s a lot of work and effort that’s gone on behind the scenes by players and staff, and it would just be amazing. It would be amazing for all the staff and it would be amazing for all the players to be rewarded.
“Excitement is huge and the girls are excited. We have to manage that. We have to keep them on their toes and make sure they work just as hard, and they don’t become complacent, and that they are good to go, and ultimately their nerves don’t get the better of them.”
The Hammers are yet to lose in 2018 and Smith is cautious about changing a training strategy that has been working for the Ladies, and knows that the onus is on the coaching team to manage excitement levels and keep focus purely on the match, not the occasion.
He continued: “We like to do things the same. Obviously, it’s a final. The girls know it’s a final and it has more significance, and you can’t hide from that. But at the same time, we’re preparing in the same way that we would do in terms of the training.
“Our analyst, Neo, has been looking at Charlton for the past couple of weeks and we’ve been preparing ever since. The girls will do some more tactical training and then before the game we will look at walking through before we prepare for Wednesday. It’s somewhat routine but obviously you have to fine-tune the detail depending on your opposition.”
With the final between West Ham United Ladies and Charlton Athletic Women being played at Aveley, Smith has called on fans to come and support the side in the final.
Tickets are available on the gate on the evening, starting at just £1, and the assistant coach believes the fans can play a huge role in securing a win.
“We would absolutely encourage a lot of West Ham supporters to come down and cheer us on. It’s a 7:30pm kick-off on Wednesday and I know a lot of our Academy players are coming to see the game.
“If you can make it and cheer us on I know it would really help the girls!”