Rosie Kmita signs her professional contract

On This Day: Rosie Kmita becomes first professional West Ham United women's team player

It was on this day, 11 June 2018, that Rosie Kmita became the first female player to sign a professional contract in West Ham United history.

After playing collegiate soccer in the United States with the Saint Leo Lions in Florida, and appearing for Tottenham Hotspur in FA Women’s National League Premier Division South as a teenager, Kmita spent a year concentrating on her education.

During that time, the winger played for lower-division sides Gillingham and London Bees before joining West Ham, then of the FA Women’s National League Southern Premier Division, in October 2017.

Kmita made an immediate and positive impact, scoring ten goals in 19 appearances in all competitions and captaining the side as the Hammers ended the 2017/18 campaign by winning two trophies, the FA Women's Premier League Plate and Isthmian League Women's Cup.

That summer, West Ham were granted entry to the Women's Super League, the top-flight of Women's domestic football in England, for the start of the 2018/19 season.

The Club set about building a squad of full-time professional players and the first to be signed was Kmita on 11 June 2018.

Rosie Kmita

Kmita wore the No16 for the Hammers' first season in the WSL and was in the squad for the historic opening-day fixture at home to Reading at Rush Green Stadium in September 2018.

The London-born player's first WSL appearance arrived on 30 September 2018 and she marked it with a goal six minutes after being introduced as a substitute, scoring the winner in a 2-1 home win over Yeovil Town.

Kmita would make her sole start among 14 WSL appearances in a 5-0 win at Yeovil in the return fixture in December 2018.

She also netted goals in FA Women's League Cup group-stage wins over London City Lionesses and Charlton Athletic that season, helping her team reach the quarter-finals.

In February 2019, Kmita also scored in an 8-1 Women's FA Cup fifth-round win over Huddersfield Town, and she was also part of the squads which defeated Aston Villa and Reading to reach the final of the same competition.

In May 2019, Kmita made more history as she was introduced as a late substitute in the Hammers' gallant 3-0 defeat by Manchester City in the Women's FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium, appearing in front of more than 40,000 supporters.

In total, Kmita made 38 appearances in Claret and Blue, scoring 14 goals, before departing at the end of the 2018/2019 season.

Kmita went on to play for FA Women's Championship side London Bees and FA Women's National League South outfit Watford before retiring at the end of the 2021/22 season.

She is now a sports broadcaster and presenter and works to educate and develop the next generation of leaders in sport as a co-founder, alongside her sister and fellow former Hammers player Mollie, of her own venture, The Powerhouse Project.


St women's