Laura Vetterlein may be heading into the peak of her playing career, but the new West Ham United signing still expects to learn a lot more about football now she has signed with the Irons.
The German defender became Matt Beard’s first acquisition of the summer for his Barclays Women’s Super League side on Friday, moving to the Hammers from SC Sand.
A switch to east London is the first time Vetterlein has played outside of the Bundesliga, but the 27-year-old is ready for the challenge of the English game.
It will be my first time I’m playing away from Germany, so it’s a different way of playing football, but I expect to learn a lot of new things.
“It was a big thing for me to come and try something new, and get to know a new league,” Vetterlein told whufc.com. “I’ve been in the Bundesliga for ten years and I was ready to have a new challenge.
“The FA WSL is a league that has been improving so much and I’m really looking forward to being a part of this journey. It will be my first time I’m playing away from Germany, so it’s a different way of playing football, but I expect to learn a lot of new things.”
The centre-back admitted she is expecting to find a more physical division in the WSL than she has been used to and is relishing the test of playing in England.
By her own admission, Vetterlein feels she is heading into the prime of her career and is ready to bring her best football to West Ham United.
She continued: “People have told me to expect a more physical league, certainly more physical than the Bundesliga, but that was what I wanted. I play hard when I need to like a defender should.
“Perhaps when you’re a younger age you are a little too nervous or a bit excited by everything, but I’m at an age now when I’m a bit more experienced, a bit calmer before games and I’m able to help my team better.
“I think people look at you a bit differently when you’re older and more experienced too so, for me, this is the best time to be playing football.”
With the 2019 Women’s World Cup achieving record audiences and crowds, Vetterlein believes now is the time for the Women’s Super League to capitalise on that interest and continue to give football fans a reason to watch the women’s game.
The centre-back is hopeful of seeing even bigger crowds of supporter at Rush Green Stadium in the 2019/20 campaign, having been impressed by the numbers in attendance during the side’s maiden season as a professional outfit.
“I loved watching the World Cup and seeing how many records it broke for audiences and broadcasting,” she added. “It was good to see England get to the semi-finals, which will hopefully give this league another push and see attendances go up again.
“The best moment to play and watch women’s football is right now. I’m really excited about it and happy to be a part of this!”