West Ham Women confirm exit of boss Beard

PUBLISHED: 11:10 19 November 2020 | UPDATED: 11:10 19 November 2020

West Ham manager Matt Beard during West Ham United Women vs Brighton & Hove Albion Women, Barclays FA Women's Super League Football at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on 15th November 2020

West Ham manager Matt Beard during West Ham United Women vs Brighton & Hove Albion Women, Barclays FA Women's Super League Football at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on 15th November 2020

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West Ham United Women have confirmed that manager Matt Beard has left the club by mutual consent, with immediate effect.

Beard leaves the Hammers sitting ninth in the Women’s Super League table with four points after seven games played, with his final game in charge being their 4-0 Continental Cup victory over Charlton Athletic on Wednesday.

West Ham won at Birmingham City and drew with London rivals Tottenham on the opening day of the season but have lost to Arsenal, Reading, Everton, Manchester United and Brighton.

The game against the Seagulls proved to be his final league match as they lost out 1-0 due to a goal from Republic of Ireland International Rianna Jarrett.

The 42-year-old was appointed in June 2018 ahead of the club’s first season as a professional team in the top flight of English Women’s football.

Beard guided the team to the FA Cup final in 2019 where they were runners-up after a 3-0 defeat to Manchester City at Wembley Stadium.

He had previously guided Liverpool to the title and on leaving West Ham he said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of my time with West Ham United and, while I am sad to depart, I am proud of the work we have done to grow and develop this team.

“Although I am leaving, I do so with some wonderful memories that I will forever treasure, and I would like to thank Jack Sullivan and everyone at the club for the opportunity to work at West Ham United.

“I hold a particular fondness for my first season. Entering into the FA Women’s Super League, we built the infrastructure and a squad to play at the top level of the game in just a few short weeks. Even early on in that campaign, it felt like we were developing something special.

“And, of course, I have to mention the run to the FA Cup Final. The passion, energy and emotion surrounding our semi-final win at Reading was magical and will live with me forever. To then lead West Ham United women’s team out at Wembley Stadium, less than a year after we turned professional, is one of my proudest moments in football.

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“The period since has been challenging, not least because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected the entire world in 2020. I want to make special mention of how brilliant the club has been with me, the team and my staff during the pandemic, particularly during the first lockdown.

“West Ham truly looked after each of us, as individuals, on a professional and personal level, and I will forever be grateful for that.

“I will be the first to admit that results this season haven’t been what we all hoped for but, throughout everything, I truly believe the squad we assembled had the quality to compete with the best sides in this division, and I could not be prouder of the work the players, the staff and I have carried out in my time with West Ham.

“I would like to thank Managing Director Jack Sullivan for the chance to manage the club and for the support he has given me during my time in charge.

“I would also like to thank the players I have worked with over the last two-and-a-half years for their efforts and commitment. Some of these players have been here with me since my very first day and I am forever grateful for their hard work.

“I am also grateful to my coaching team and the staff at the training ground that I have worked closely with on a daily basis at West Ham. I am immensely appreciative of their support and their spirit and will miss working with them.

“I save my biggest thank you to the West Ham United fans, who have proudly and loudly supported the women’s team in every single fixture, home or away. I sincerely hope that your team continue to bring you the enjoyment and success that you deserve.”

Jack Sullivan added: “On behalf of everyone at West Ham United, I would like to say thank you to Matt for his hard work and dedication during his time with the club.

“Our growth, from a newly formed professional team taking our first steps into the Women’s Super League to an established side in the top flight, has been colossal, and Matt has been one of the leading figures in that effort.

“Personally, it has been a pleasure working closely with Matt and, although we are parting ways, we do so amicably and with plenty of unforgettable memories shared. I genuinely wish Matt all the best for the future.”

Goalkeeping coach Billy Stewart and first-team coach Paul McHugh will take temporary charge of the team.

West Ham are next in action after the international break as they take on the defending champions Chelsea away from home.

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