West Ham United women’s team v Bristol City
Pre-season friendly, Chigwell Construction Stadium, Sunday 10 September, 3pm BST.
West Ham United are back in Dagenham for their latest pre-season friendly ahead of the 2023/24 Barclays Women’s Super League campaign.
It’s the first time that the team are back at Chigwell Construction Stadium since the end of last season, and they face off against Bristol City, who are preparing for their first season back in the top-flight since 2020/21.
Tickets are available to purchase in advance, with a limited number available from the ticket office at the stadium on the day of the match. Purchase yours now!
Read on for all you need to know about Sunday’s pre-season clash with the Robins.
Asseyi: I’m looking forward to playing back at home in front of our fans
Viviane Asseyi has enjoyed being back in east London.
The 29-year-old forward was with France at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, where she featured against Panama and Morocco. Now she is back at Chadwell Heath and working hard under new boss Rehanne Skinner.
Asseyi, who played in every single WSL fixture for the Hammers last season, admits that pre-season is always an enjoyable time for her.
“I like the moments that we have in pre-season, it’s an important time for everyone,” she told whufc.com.
“We have a new coach, new members of staff and some new teammates, so I’m discovering what everyone is like and we’re trying to make sure we’re ready for when the season begins.
“The game on Sunday will be good. It’s always nice to see our fans, but it’s also nice to be back at our ground, in our dressing room. It’s important to have a home match in pre-season and I’m glad we have one.
“There are lots of new things we’ve been working on [under Rehanne]. I feel as though we’re making good progress and there’s still a lot of things that we want to get better at.
“It feels as though Rehanne has been here for a lot longer than she has been, she’s been able to come in and work with us – it’s been hard work but it’s enjoyable. I like what she’s implementing, and I think we will be able to show some of that on Sunday in what will be a really good test for us.”
Bristol City are back in the Barclays Women’s Super League after a two-year absence. Last season they were a powerhouse in the Championship with 15 wins, three draws and four losses across the 22-match campaign.
The Robins have a strong attacking prowess led by the club’s 2022/23 Golden Boot winner Shania Hayles, who netted 13 goals in all competitions. However, their key to success is built in the backline. Last season, Lauren Smith’s side only conceded 12 goals, the joint fewest across both the WSL and the Championship.
Despite recently returning to the top division, City should not be underestimated. In a recent friendly against Manchester City, they narrowly fell 2-3 in a resilient performance. Being able to push Gareth Taylor’s squad strongly shows promise for their upcoming season.
Since taking the reins from former West Ham United manager Matt Beard in 2021, who was interim for the Robins at the time, Lauren Smith has taken Bristol City back to the top division.
The Welshwoman’s coaching journey began in 2010 with the club’s academy. Since then, she’s assisted both the Wales national team and Tottenham Hotspur Women. Now, she’s risen through the ranks to earn the coveted and well-deserved title of Women’s First Team Coach at Bristol City.
Smith’s shining moment came in April 2023 when she lifted City back to the Women’s Super League. In front of 7,000 fans at Ashton Gate, the Robins hoisted the Barclays Women’s Championship trophy. For her efforts, Smith earned the LMA Championship Manager of the Season for 2022/23.
Last month, Smith signed a new three-year deal as Head Coach of Bristol City Women.
How to follow?
Report, reaction and highlights will follow after the final whistle.
Tickets are priced at £5 for Adults and £1 for Juniors! Click here to purchase yours!
We recommend purchasing your tickets in advance - a small number of tickets will be available from the ticket office at Chigwell Construction Stadium on Sunday.
Season Tickets and Manchester City match tickets will also be available to purchase from the ticket office on Sunday!
Watch West Ham United in action against Manchester City in the women's team's opening Barclays Women's Super League match of the season! Purchase your ticket by clicking on the graphic below!