Anna Leat: It was great to be out there for the first time as a West Ham United player
Anna Leat was delighted to make her debut as a West Ham United player, as she kept a clean sheet in the Hammers’ 0-1 win over London City Lionesses last week.
The New Zealand goalkeeper made her first competitive appearance in Claret & Blue as Olli Harder’s side made the best possible start to their Continental League Cup campaign.
The Hammers sit second in Group E as things stand, with Brighton & Hove Albion beating Birmingham City 1-0 in the other fixture in the standings.
“It was great to be out there for the first time as a West Ham United player,” Leat told whufc.com.
“I think it was a great defensive effort from everyone out there tonight. We came under quite a lot of pressure, and everyone worked together as a team to keep the ball out of the net and get the win.”
Leat arrived in east London having spent time with Georgetown Hoyas, but her time in the US was cut short due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
And the 20-year-old has settled in well to life in the Capital, forming fantastic working relationships with Mackenzie Arnold and goalkeeping coach, Billy Stewart, who Leat praised at the full-time whistle.
“I feel as though I’ve put in a lot of really good work in training, I’m learning things out there on the training pitch and it’s good to be able to put some of those bits into practise tonight.
“We’ve got a great little goalkeeper’s union at the club – Macca [Mackenzie Arnold], and Billy Stewart our goalkeeping coach really help to push me on. It’s great to have a team like we have to work with day in, day out. It’s a great vibe and we have lots of fun, whilst improving our skills.”
Leat will now head off to Canada, where New Zealand will face off against Adriana Leon and co in what’s being dubbed, the ‘Celebration Tour’ – off the back of Canada’s gold medal win in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games this summer.
There’s also been a change in coach for the Kiwi’s with Czech Jitka Klimkova appointed as the first woman to ever manage the Football Ferns.
It's a change that Leat is looking forward to, as she looks to establish herself as the outright number one on the international stage.
“I’m really looking forward to heading away with New Zealand, it’s a fresh start for the whole team with the new manager coming in. It’s going to be another great experience for me, and it’ll be nice to link up with everyone again!
“My last experience with the national team was out at the Olympic Games, so it’ll be nice to link back up again and hopefully we can pick up a result against Canada!”