West Ham Women’s boss Beard ‘delighted to be back’

PUBLISHED: 19:51 09 July 2020 | UPDATED: 19:51 09 July 2020

West Ham manager Matt Beard (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

West Ham manager Matt Beard (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

West Ham United Women’s manager Matt Beard is delighted to be back in pre-season training ahead of the 2020-21 season.

The Hammers returned to their new Chadwell Heath training ground this week as they seek to improve on last season’s eighth place finish.

Tuesday marked the first training session at the east London club since March and the first time the manager and his backroom staff could cast their eyes over the team once again.

Speaking to Beard said: “I’m delighted to be back. It’s just good to see all the girls and the team again.

“Of course, I’ve not seen everyone yet and I won’t get to see everyone until we are all in back in training, but it will be brilliant when we’ve got everyone back in.

“All of the girls have worked incredibly hard over the last four months, and Colm (Smith, Strength & Conditioning Coach) has worked them really hard to get them prepared for their return. I’ve been pleased with the start. It’s just great to be back on the grass again.”

The women’s team are currently operating under Phase One regulations upon their return to training, meaning the squad must only work in up to groups of five while maintaining social distancing.

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Beard added: “I think the phases are the right thing to do because it gives both the players and the staff the confidence to come back into the work environment.

“The phases get us back on the pitch and back enjoying each other’s company. It gives us the confidence to know we are doing the right things and taking the right precautions to make sure everyone stays healthy.

“It’s going to be a different process, but it is something we’ve got to stay on top of. We need to keep doing the right things and I’m sure we will continue to have clear tests and get everyone back in.

“I really want to praise the club because West Ham has been absolutely fantastic during this whole pandemic in terms of putting the wellbeing of every single person at the club ahead of everything else. That’s been right across the board too, from the football staff to those people behind the scenes.”

The manager then went on to talk about moving to the Chadwell Heath training ground and five players signing new contracts ahead of the Hammers third season as a professional club.

“The third year, if you look at the processes we’ve been through in the previous two years, this is a big year,” he added.

“You look at the facilities we’ve got access to now at Chadwell Heath, and the core part of the squad that we’ve secured on new contracts. We’ve got players now that understand this league.

“We’ve just got to improve the depth and the competition. That will give us the ability then to push on and challenge those top teams. We’ve got a great set-up here. We have a great bunch of people on and off the pitch and I’m really looking forward to getting back to work and getting into the new season.”

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