New West Ham United Ladies signing Gilly Flaherty believes the side’s long-term vision and ambition means joining the Hammers is ‘the perfect move’.
Flaherty penned a deal with the Irons on Monday, becoming the team’s sixth signing of the summer and the third acquisition from Chelsea F.C. Women, following Claire Rafferty and Becky Spencer across London.
The 26-year-old has known success throughout her entire career, winning 22 trophies including eight league titles and seven FA Cups, and Flaherty is eager to continue earning medals with West Ham.
“I saw a lot of West Ham last season and the side got some great attendances playing in the Women’s Premier League Southern Division,” Flaherty told West Ham TV. “I kept an eye out because the side is a local team to me as well.
I’m an out-and-out winner. I’ve not come here to settle, to sit in mid table or to be fighting relegation battles. I’ve come here to help the club achieve things and go on to win things.
“West Ham reached out. There’s big aspirations here. I’ve known Matt Beard for many years through football and every team he has gone to have been winners.
“I’m an out-and-out winner. I’ve not come here to settle, to sit in mid table or to be fighting relegation battles. I’ve come here to help the club achieve things and go on to win things. That’s what we want to do. It seemed like the perfect move for me and I just can’t wait to get going now.”
Flaherty is looking forward to sharing the pitch once again with former Blues teammates, and thinks the duo will help to bring success to the Irons.
“Becky is my best friend!” The centre-back continued. “I’ve been mates with her since we were 12-years-old, so to be here with her is something special.
“I was playing centre-back at Chelsea and Raff was playing left-back, so we have a great relationship on the pitch as well. They are two great signings for West Ham and they bring a winning mentality.”
Having helped Chelsea to the WSL title last season, Flaherty talks from experience when she discusses the difficulty of playing in the Women’s top flight.
However, she is confident that the Irons can put together a team that challenges at the right end of the table.
“It’s not going to be easy. We’d all be naïve to think we can put a team together in the first year and go and win the double. We have to be realistic, but there’s no doubting that this team will be a team that will challenge.”
The defender feels her best football is still to come and is ready to show her ability in the iconic Claret and Blue this season.
Flaherty added: “I’m coming up to my peak. It’s an age thing and some people play better when they’re older, and some people play better when they’re younger.
“For me, obviously, I want to push back into the England team. For me to be doing that, I need to be playing week in, week out. It’s a new home and a new family. I want to be playing week in and week out and that’s where I want to be with West Ham.”
Season Tickets for West Ham United Ladies’ first campaign in the FA Women’s Super League are on sale now!
You can follow the Ladies’ journey into the WSL in person from just £15! Follow the link here for more information!