Ferns football goalkeeper Anna Leat signs for English Premier League club West Ham
West Ham United / Facebook
New Zealand Football Ferns goalkeeper Anna Leat has signed for England women’s Super League club West Ham United.
Promising Football goalkeeper Ferns Anna Leat has moved from the Tokyo Olympics to a contract with England’s Women’s Super League club West Ham United.
The 20-year-old, who has four New Zealand caps, played in the 6-0 loss to the United States in Tokyo, but rebounded to sign a deal with the Hammers, where All Whites captain Winston Reid was in the male premier. team since 2010.
Goalkeeper Anna Leat was the hero in 2018 as New Zealand advanced to the semi-finals of the FIFA Women’s Under-17 World Cup.
Leat was signed – subject to international clearance – by West Ham New Zealand women’s team head coach Olli Harder.
She will become WSL’s second Football Fern, joining defender-midfielder Ria Percival, who has been at Tottenham Hotspur since 2019.
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“I am so excited to join West Ham,” Leat said on the club’s website.
“The whole experience of coming here has been quite surreal, and it’s something I’ve really been looking forward to for a long time now. I’ve worked really hard to get to this point so it’s a great feeling to finally be here.
“I’m British on my dad’s side and always wanted to live in England, the opportunity presented itself and it was perfect. I wanted to make the jump to a professional league and it’s the best in the world, so I’m delighted to be at West Ham.
Leat made her senior debut with Football Ferns at the age of 16 in November 2017, and a year later she first rose to prominence in football when she scored the winning penalty kick in the victory of New Zealand over Japan to secure a historic first place in the semi-finals at the 2018 U-17 World Championships in Uruguay.
She went to Georgetown University on a football scholarship before returning to play in New Zealand and prepare for the Olympics.
West Ham – ninth in the 12-team WSL last season – will be his first professional club.
Harder said the Hammers have been watching Leat for some time.
“She’s a young goalie with a lot of international experience for someone her young age.
“She will add tremendous value to our goalkeeping department and bring a lot of energy to the dressing room.
“I believe he’s someone with a good mindset who fits into the culture we’re creating here at West Ham.”
Leat will compete for the goalkeeper jersey with former Australia international Mackenzie Arnold. Australian Olympic team midfielder Matildas Tameka Yallop is also on the Hammers’ books.