Thomas: The chance to work with Matt Beard is a big honour
New West Ham United signing Martha Thomas says the chance to work under head coach Matt Beard was one she could not turn down.
The American forward became West Ham women’s second signing of the summer on Tuesday, joining the Irons from Le Havre AC, following defender Laura Vetterlein in moving to Rush Green Stadium.
Thomas watched with interest last season as West Ham – in the side’s first season as a professional female outfit – finished seventh in the Barclays Women’s Super League and reached the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final, securing a memorable outing against Manchester City at Wembley Stadium.
The 23-year-old can see that the Hammers are on the up and believes Beard, who has won WSL titles with Liverpool, is the right coach to take her game to the next level.
I know Matt from Liverpool and his time in America and for him to want to sign me is a big honour.
“This is a huge club that has done a lot of work on the women’s side, and I was very impressed with what I saw the side achieve in their first season,” Thomas told whufc.com. “Women’s football is growing bigger than ever and the support this team gets from the Club really excites me.
“To have one season as a professional team and to do that well and reach the FA Cup Final is amazing. It just shows what this team will be capable of doing over the next few seasons.
“Once I spoke to Matt Beard, I knew this was the right place for me. I knew a lot about him before I even heard from my agent about West Ham. I know Matt from Liverpool and his time in America and for him to want to sign me is a big honour. I’m really excited to work with him.”
The forward – who has taken the No9 shirt – is capable of playing in a number of attacking roles but believes West Ham fans will mainly see her leading the line in Claret and Blue this campaign.
However, Thomas is prepared to play anywhere for West Ham and is just looking forward to stepping out on the Rush Green pitch as a Hammer for the first time.
She continued: “Matt mentioned I can play a variety of different positions so he liked the versatility of that and I’m really keen on getting on the field and whether he sees me as a number nine or number ten, out wide as a seven or eleven, either way, I’m excited.
“Football has been a big passion of mine from a very young age. Playing in the US was really good in terms of development and the passion for playing football, for me is really exciting.
“Obviously, I am going to be No9 so if he wants me in that role, I’ll take it and do the best that I can.”