Sharp shooter Kiernan is cleaning up in attack

Leanne Kiernan in action for the Hammers


At just 19, Leanne Kiernan has played one some of the biggest stages in the women’s game.

The forward has already represented the Republic of Ireland at senior international level and played UEFA Champions League football with her former club, Dublin-based Shelbourne. 

But now, having moved to West Ham United, Kiernan is facing a whole new challenge - household chores.

I’m so lucky to get an opportunity to fulfill my dream. I’m playing for West Ham in the FA WSL, and I just want to keep my head down and work hard, and see the team get better

Leanne Kiernan

“When I was in Shelbourne, I lived at home, so I was used to my mother doing everything for me!” smiled Kiernan, who scored twice in Ireland's 4-0 FIFA Women's World Cup qualifying win over Northern Ireland last week. “Moving over here has been brilliant, but it’s meant I’ve had to start doing those sorts of things for myself.

“I’m getting a bit better at doing things like the washing now. I didn’t realise how many different jobs there are though! I’m working my way through it.”

Despite her added responsibilities, the teenage attacker is thoroughly enjoying life in east London, particularly with how she has quickly adapted to her new team. 

“I’m really enjoying my time here. It’s been just over six weeks now and all of them have been brilliant. I’m having such a good laugh with the team and all the girls have been brilliant.

“I think I’ve fitted in quite well, so everything is going really well.”


Leanne Kiernan has scored 12 goals in 18 appearances for the Republic of Ireland


Kiernan’s obvious quality has already been displayed for West Ham. The No8 scored a sensational goal in the 4-1 WSL Continental Cup win over Lewes last time out, bending home a curler which found the net via the underside of the crossbar. 

In typical fashion, Kiernan would prefer to talk about the achievements of the team, rather than her own show-stealing strike.

“It was a good goal,” she shrugged. “It’s always nice to get on the scoresheet, and I’m happy with that result. The team played very well, and it’s about the team at the end of the day. I’m really happy with how we’re progressing.”

The Irish teenager has started as a part of a front three for the Hammers in both competitive matches so far, linking up with Scotland international Jane Ross and young Swiss attacker Alisha Lehmann. 

Although Kiernan admits she sees herself as a winger, head coach Matt Beard has encouraged the attacking trio to be fluid in their movement; something that has proven effective so far.

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“I see myself as a winger, but the three of us up front are inclined to switch around in our positions and play a bit freely, which is really good. 

“That’s down to Matt on the training ground. He’s been working with us a lot on movement and utilising space left by each other. He’s given us that option and it’s given us an added dimension to our attack.”

For Kiernan, moving to West Ham is the realisation of a dream, and the forward is willing to do whatever it takes to make that work – even if it means doing the washing up.

“I’m so lucky to get an opportunity to fulfill my dream. I’m playing for West Ham in the FA WSL, and I just want to keep my head down and work hard, and see the team get better. 

“There are big things coming for West Ham.”

*Leanne Kiernan and her new teammates will return to domestic action in the same competition on Sunday 16 September, when the Hammers host Millwall Lionesses at Rush Green Stadium. Tickets for that London derby can be purchased now here.