Monday 13 May
Updated Monday 13 May 10:00
Women

Percival: West Ham fans are some of the best I've played for

 

West Ham United supporters have passionately backed the women's team all season, cheering the side on to a seventh-place finish in the FA Women's Super League and the Final of the SSE Women's FA Cup. 

Their support has not been lost on Ria Percival, who has described the Claret and Blue Army as some of the best fans she has had the privilege of playing for.

The defender has played across the globe and experienced all types of football cultures, and Percival has reserved a special thanks for the Hammers fans for their backing this campaign.

West Ham supporters have been one of the best fan groups I've seen at any club I've played at

Ria Percival

"For me, West Ham supporters have been one of the best fan groups I've seen at any club I've played at," she said. "To have so many supporters - and the numbers have grown over the season as well - I can't thank the fans enough. It's really helped us to get results this season. 

"We've had a really good season. We've made good strides forward and shown we can compete in this league. Overall, we're happy with where we have finished and the growth we have enjoyed as a team. We're in a good position to go away for the summer and then come back ready to do again."

Saturday's season finale did not end the way Matt Beard and his side would have hoped for, losing 4-0 at home to Brighton & Hove Albion, and Percival admitted the Irons failed to put their best foot forward at Rush Green Stadium.

She continued: "It wasn't our game. We didn't show up to play. It's disappointing. We wanted to end the season with a win and on a high but we didn't. We, unfortunately, didn't play our best for our fans and show them what we can do."

Percival

 

While some of Percival's teammates will be preparing for a few weeks of relaxation ahead of the 2019/20 season, the right-back is set to link up with her New Zealand teammates ahead of this summer's World Cup in France. 

The Football Ferns record cap holder is excited to play in another major tournament for her nation and is targeting qualification from their group as the first step of the World Cup campaign.

"It's all go for me now," she added. "No break; straight into more friendly games next week and then the World Cup in a few weeks. 

"It's going to be a big month. I'm off to America on Monday for two games, and then two games with England and Wales, and then we're over to France for the World Cup. We want to win every game but first, we need to get out of the group and see where that takes us."