West Ham United are delighted to confirm the signing of New Zealand international defender Ria Percival from FC Basel.
The 28-year-old becomes the latest acquisition for Matt Beard’s women’s team as the Irons prepare for a first campaign in the FA Women’s Super League.
“This is a really exciting time to be joining West Ham United,” Basildon-born Percival told whufc.com. “I’m coming back to where it all began for me, and seeing West Ham come up through the leagues has been incredible.
“The club has got some great new players in, and has a fantastic opportunity in a new league to make a big statement as a team. I’m really excited for a new start.”
With over 100 caps for the New Zealand team, Percival brings a wealth of experience of the top level of women’s football to West Ham.
Head coach Matt Beard is delighted to have secured the right-back’s signature.
This is a really exciting time to be joining West Ham United. I'm really excited for this new start.
Beard said: “Ria is a top defender who will bring unrivalled experience to West Ham. I’m very happy to welcome her to the team.
“I’m sure Ria will fit right in with our project, hit the ground running and become an integral part of the side both on and off the pitch.”
Born in Basildon, Essex, Percival played in her home nation of New Zealand with Lynn-Avon United until 2008, before moving to United American Soccer League team F.C. Indiana.
A brief spell with Ottawa Fury in Canada followed before Percival switched to FFC Frankfurt.
The right-back, who can also play further up the field, spent a single season with Frankfurt, and then switched to fellow Bundesliga team FF USV Jena in 2012. Percival spent four seasons at the German side, playing 77 times.
The defender’s next side would be FC Basel, and after two years in Switzerland, Percival returns to the area of her birth with West Ham.
Percival made her international debut for New Zealand in 2006 against China, having represented her nation at the U20s Women’s World Cup just a few months prior.
Less than a year later, Percival would once again be at the World Cup, playing for the full New Zealand team at the finals in China. A spot in the squad for the 2008 Olympic games followed.
With 106 caps to her name, Percival has played for her nation at six major competitions, most recently the 2015 World Cup.
Everyone at West Ham United would like to welcome Ria and her family to the Club and wish her every success in the Claret and Blue.
*Season Tickets for West Ham United's first season in the Women’s Super League are now on sale, starting from just £15!
Come and enjoy the top tier of the women's game at Rush Green with the Hammers this season. Pick up your Season Ticket from the link here!