West Ham’s Samantha Miller looks back over her career to date

Including how she was inspired by playing alongside international stars

Samantha Miller recalls her journey from playing alongside the likes of Jordan Nobbs while studying at university, to rejoining West Ham and the exciting season ahead.

University football – The game changer

University football was where I felt my game excelled. I played football for the University of Hertfordshire while completing a Sports and Exercise Science degree, and while doing so, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by Women’s Super League players. Consisting of internationals Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal/ England), Danielle Carter (Arsenal/ England), Caroline Weir (Liverpool/ Scotland) and Laura Coombs (Liverpool/ England) among others, it was an honour to be able to call this talented group of players my teammates.

This helped raise my standard and enhance my all-round game. In addition to this, having the respected and experienced Faye White coaching and managing, and having Kelly Smith and Steph Houghton fill in for a few games was incredibly valuable. Playing, training with, and receiving feedback from these high-profile players drove me to step up a level.

London Bees

I then got the opportunity to play for London Bees in the WSL 2, training four to five times a week at the spectacular facilities at the Hive, which was a privilege.

First team debut

I had been training with the first team, and my call up was away to Doncaster Belles in the FA Cup, which was a great experience; the atmosphere at the Keepmoat was incredible. I didn’t get to play that day, but the experience made me even hungrier for my debut. Eventually, my patience and hard work paid off, and I got my first team debut away to Aston Villa. I felt mixed emotions after the game, as I was proud to have played, but losing 2-1 after being 1-0 up was a difficult result to digest. I then played against Durham in the FA Cup, but unfortunately broke my wrist during the game, which meant I missed pre-season with the new manager.

West Ham

I made the decision to return to West Ham (my previous club before Bees) with an aim to get regular first-team football. After being at Bees for a year, I felt I could add some valuable experience to the West Ham side, and help get the team promoted to WSL 2 after getting a taste of the league.

Having returned from a pre-season tour in Holland playing the likes of FC Twente and MSV Duisberg, I have witnessed the desire and ambition of the club. With the season about to commence, hard work has been put in; with a new successful manager in James Marr in charge, and a team aiming for the top, it’s looking like an exciting season ahead. Watch this space!

Follow Samantha at @samantham7pd

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