West Ham United Women have announced that two existing players, Melisa Filis and Halle Houssein, have signed new contracts with the club.
Of Turkish Cypriot heritage through her dad, London-born Halle Houssein is a highly regarded midfielder. The England U18s captain came through the Arsenal Academy before being signed by West Ham in January 2022 when she was just 17.
Houssein has gone on to make ten appearances for The Hammers to date and spent time on loan at Gillingham Women last season to continue her development.
On Friday, West Ham announced Houssein, now aged 18, has signed her first professional contract with the Barclays Women’s Super League club, agreeing to a three-year deal with them.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time at West Ham United since joining and it made sense to continue my journey here, so I’m delighted to sign my first pro contract with the Club that I love,” Houssein told whufc.com.
“This is a really proud moment for me and my family. I’ve been working really hard to get to this moment, and now I know that I need to work even harder to get to become the player I want to be.
“I’ve had a good summer, but I can’t wait to get back on the grass now and get going again! It’s an exciting time with the new manager [Rehanne Skinner] taking charge, and I hope that we’ll be able to have a really positive season and I’ll be able to play my part,” Houssein continued.
Commenting on Houssein’s long-term deal with the club, West Ham Women’s General Manager Aidan Boxall said:
“We’re really pleased that Halle has signed her first professional contract with us. Halle is somebody that has worked incredibly hard since joining us last year – juggling football alongside her A-Levels and also spending some time out on loan,” adding that “Halle has the potential to be an important player for us.”
On Friday, West Ham also confirmed that another midfielder, Melisa Filis, was extending her contract with the club. The 20-year-old has featured 39 times in all competitions in Claret & Blue since signing for The Hammers in July 2021.
Known as ‘Mel’ to her teammates and of Turkish descent through her father, Filis shared her delight at penning new terms with whufc.com:
“It’s exciting to extend my stay here [at West Ham]. Obviously, this is now my second professional contract, so I’m grateful again to have been given the opportunity to play in the best league in the world, which is the Barclays Women’s Super League.”
“West Ham (Women) is still a fairly new club, so we’ve been building over the last couple of seasons. There have been ups and downs but I do genuinely think that the Club is trying to go in the right direction. Hopefully we can really compete in this new season and I’m really excited to see what happens.
“For me personally, I want to try and get as many minutes as I can and make sure that I’m effective when I am given the opportunity to play. I’ve learnt a lot of the past two seasons and I’m looking to kick on now,” Filis stated.
Boxall said that he was pleased to be able to tie down the midfielder ahead of the new Barclays Women’s Super League campaign.
“Mel’s hard working attitude and desire to succeed is something that we all admire about her character.
“Mel has been with the Club for two years now and has always shown professionalism and given everything for the badge, both on and off the pitch.
“We’re really pleased that she will be extending her stay with us and we look forward to seeing her in action throughout the 2023/24 campaign.”
West Ham Women was formed in 1991. The club plays in the Barclays Women’s Super League – the women’s equivalent of the English Premier League – however they have yet to achieve the success of their London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea.
Earlier this week, West Ham Women appointed Rehanne Skinner as their new first team manager – the club’s first female manager.
Skinner will be pushing for West Ham Women to improve on their 2022-23 performance. The team finished eighth in the Super League and reached the semi-finals of the League Cup, where they were thrashed 7-0 by Chelsea.
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