West Ham Women debut for Sikh-Punjabi midfielder Roop Kaur Bath against Hashtag United | Soccer News

Sikh-Punjabi midfielder Roop Kaur Bath capped an unforgettable few weeks with a debut for West Ham Women on his first taste of senior football.

Kaur Bath, who has just joined West Ham’s full-time WSL academy, was given 25 minutes by manager and former England international Paul Konchesky as a young side lost 3-1 to Hashtag United at Parkside during a pre-season game. .

Roop Kaur Bath warms up at half-time against Hashtag United

The midfielder, who is backed by the Sporting Equals and Sky Sports partnership, showed some neat touches and put in a composed performance in front of 350 fans as she made her first appearance for the Hammers, aged just 16 and 11 days.

Senior players Grace Garrad, Jess Ziu, Keira Flannery, Alex Hennessy and Sophie Hillyerd were all involved, with the rest of the first team – including recent summer signings Viviane Asseyi and Thea Kyvag – watching and supporting their younger teammates.

Singh: It’s epic

Micky Singh, official spokesperson for the Apna England Supporters Group, said Sky Sports News: “This is epic news that will give so many girls from all walks of life so much hope that there is a path for them in women’s football.

“Everyone at Apna England is delighted for Roop and truly proud of her and her family who never gave up and fought tirelessly to provide the best opportunity for her talent to shine.”

West Ham women’s academy manager Dan Mlinar said the game was a good learning curve for the players who will be part of his squad for the coming season.

“It’s actually the first minutes our academy players have had since returning for pre-season, so it was good for them to be back on the grass,” he said. West Ham official website.

“We had players making their West Ham debut, we had players playing their very first game against older players – and for some it was their very first game in front of a crowd!”

“A priceless experience”

Mlinar added: “It was an invaluable experience for all of them, and I’m sure they will take away a lot from the game. They played alongside a number of first-team players, so they saw the level they need to reach if they want to make the first team.

“It’s a good time for these youngsters to be at club football because there’s a clear philosophy here that we can promote from within if we have the right caliber of player ready for first-team action.

“Our WSL academy side will have a fairly young squad this season, but I’ve seen enough to show that this group has something. We’ve really only had five or six sessions since we came back for the pre- season so I’m looking forward to a few more games and seeing the girls grow.”

Kaur Bath was the mysterious schoolgirl who left Sky Sports News Viewers were stunned in March last year when she kicked nearly 1,100 for International Women’s Day aged just 14.

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Roop Kaur Bath did 1,059 lockdown kicks for International Women’s Day aged just 14

After two stints with QPR, the Sikh-Punjabi central midfielder has joined London Bees for the 2021/22 season, telling exclusively Sky Sports News when she wanted to get out of her comfort zone and test herself in a new environment.

A graduate of the Middlesex Center of Excellence, Kaur Bath was part of the Ruislip Rangers side that won the Capital Girls County Cup for the first time in club history.

Kaur Bath also represented Middlesex at county level last season, beating MK Dons 4-3.

Speaking at the end of last season, Kaur’s manager at former London Bees club John Ryan stressed that the midfielder’s technical and tactical abilities were a good indicator of her potential in the game. Game.

At West Ham, Kaur Bath will work under renowned talent developer Stephen Opoka, and former Millwall Lionesses boss and longtime Hammers fan Mlinar, who has been appointed as academy director by the chief executive. of West Ham Women, Aidan Boxall.

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