Today’s match at London Stadium will fulfil the dreams of every single West Ham United women’s player, according to summer signing Katharina Baunach.
The Irons will take to the iconic pitch at Stratford for the very first time at 2.30pm today – the inaugural Barclays FA Women’s Super League match at London Stadium – as the Hammers take on London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
Baunach has only recently joined the West Ham United family but can already feel the love for the women’s team from supporters. With today’s match a fantastic opportunity to showcase women’s football, the German cannot wait to step out at London Stadium.
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“I’m really excited,” Baunach said, donning the newly recently West Ham United women’s Breast Cancer Now Pink third shirt. “It’s not just me. It’s the whole team and all the staff. It’s such a great opportunity for us to play in London Stadium.
“It’s so important and nice to see that the men’s and the women’s are on the same level. We use the same facilities and it shows how strong the attention on women’s football is at the moment.
“In this league, everyone can beat everyone. It’s really important to prepare well for each game. Here, we have the best facilities and all the opportunities to prepare for each game. I’m really excited for the game on Sunday. I think these are the matches everybody dreams of. It’s what we’ve worked hard for and we can’t wait.”
I’m really excited for the game on Sunday. I think these are the matches everybody dreams of. It’s what we’ve worked hard for and we can’t wait.
Having signed from VfL Wolfsburg, one of the leading women’s clubs in Europe, Baunach is excited for the challenge playing in England has offered so far and is thoroughly enjoying her new adventure in east London.
The defender has also offered praised to her new teammates, head coach Matt Beard, as the Irons look to improve on last campaign’s seventh-placed finish.
She continued: It’s the first time to be abroad for me, and the first time speaking another language. Sometimes it’s hard to understand everything, but it’s good to have players like Julia Simic and Laura Vetterlein, who speak the same language and can translate for you, so you get things right.
“I learned English in school, so I have the basics. In Wolfsburg I played with different cultures so we spoke English there a lot too.
“It’s a different challenge for me here. Not only the language, the style of play here. It’s so different to Germany. It’s so tough, physically. It’s different and it was a dream for me to play abroad and get a new experience.
“West Ham is a new team, but we have a really good squad. It may take some time for it all to gel on the pitch, but we have some really good players. In Matt, we have a really good trainer and a really good coach.
“We did a really good pre-season. Perhaps the results in the matches weren’t what we were looking for, but I think that’s normal when you have new players here to build a new squad. I’m really happy here and I think we can achieve a lot; as long as it’s working together.”
We are supporting Breast Cancer Now. Our women’s team will be wearing a limited-edition pink shirt throughout fixtures in October. The shirt will be available in both men’s and women’s from Sunday in the Stadium Store and online with all profits from shirt sales donated to Breast Cancer Now.