est Ham have appointed their first ever full-time female coach as Nicole Farley joins the academy staff.
Farley, who has worked with Arsenal, Chelsea and LA Galaxy in the past, joins the club on a 23-month coaching placement, having applied through the Premier League‘s coach inclusion and diversity scheme and will work with all age groups from schoolboy to Under-23s.
“My first impressions of the academy have been absolutely fantastic in terms of it having such a family feel,” Farley said. “West Ham is a real club, with open arms and an open mindset. I feel like I’m in it and just ready to go now.
“There are so many passionate people here, so many passionate coaches with great backgrounds, and we’re all in one mixing pot together. When you walk around, you think ‘that’s that pro player I know!’, but there’s no ego. I like that I’m just Coach Nicole here.
“For a club of this calibre to present this opportunity, it’s great in bridging that gap. That’s why I want to be promoting equality, diversity and Inclusion – because I know I have quality. I can perform and I’m a coach ready to learn, but also deliver the best.
“With everyone’s different backgrounds, we create an eclectic wider experience and an open culture. We need that diversity to be able to connect with the boys and come from different angles.
“What a great move from the Premier League as well to keep fighting those barriers. Ultimately, our values all align here at West Ham, and that’s exciting.”
The Hammers have also given a permanent contract to coach Elliot Whitely, who has been working with the academy since January as part of the Football Association’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic/female coaching programme.