Australian international Emily van Egmond has been hailed as the “consummate professional” after signing a permanent contract with Women’s Super League side West Ham United.
Van Egmond, one of the outstanding midfielders in the English top-flight league this season, says she is delighted to have found stability in a turbulent soccer world after securing the deal following her initial loan move from American team Orlando Pride in August.
The 27-year-old from Newcastle has been one of the stand-out imports in the league this season while on loan for the Hammers, scoring five goals in 12 appearances in all competitions over the first half of the season.
Now looking forward to completing her first campaign in English football while also dreaming of a Matildas reunion with the Olympics in sight, the 97-times capped van Egmond told West Ham TV: “It’s great to stay here.
“I’m really enjoying my football here at West Ham too, and I’m excited to be working with the new manager.”
That manager is New Zealand-born Olli Harder, who met van Egmond for the first time this week as he took the reins.
“Emily is a top athlete, a consummate professional, and a footballer who has already proven her ability during her first few months on loan,” said Harder.
“Although I have only met her in person this week, Emily exemplifies many of the values I am trying to instil in the club and with her talent and drive to succeed I am looking forward to working with her even more.”
Van Egmond is one of the most widely-travelled of the Matildas, having enjoyed a fine career in Australia, the US, Germany, Denmark and now England but she feels settled at West Ham.
“It’s a great group of girls here. We’ve come in and had a bit of an up-and-down start to the season but towards the back end, before the Christmas break, I thought we were starting to find a bit of consistency,” she said.
“We’ve been able to go away and mentally freshen up, and hit the training ground hard with the new manager coming in. The training sessions have been really good with him and the club has been fantastic too.
“Personally, it’s nice to have a bit of stability during the current circumstances that are going on in the world. I’m happy to be here with West Ham, and I can’t wait to keep going.”
Van Egmond hopes to continue the sort of match-winning performances she produced against Birmingham and Bristol City last year.
“For us, it’s extremely important that we’re getting out of the box early in this second half of the season, get some wins, and climb up the ladder,” she added, hoping to drag West Ham up from their current position of 10th out of 12.