By George Overhill

9th Jul, 2022 | 9:40pm

West Ham Women expert reacts to Katerina Svitkova exit after Chelsea signing

We’re delighted to welcome Michelle Irons as our exclusive West Ham Women expert. Each week she’ll be giving her views on the biggest talking points at Victoria Road…

West Ham Women expert Michell Irons is bitterly disappointed to see midfielder Katerina Svitkova leave the club this summer.

The Czech international was an important part of the Hammers team after her arrival in 2020 following a prolific period in her home country with Slavia Prague.

The 26-year-old has now signed for Women’s Super League champions Chelsea and Irons knows that it will be a big task to replace her in this Irons squad ahead of the upcoming season.

Speaking exclusively to West Ham Zone Irons said: “Svitkova came during Matt Beards reign as gaffer and immediately had an impact during that season.

“She is an energetic, likeable player who always has an eye for a goal but was released upon the conclusion of the season along with Lois Joel, Anna Leat, Zaneta Wyne, with Lisa Evans returning to Arsenal. 

“Svitkova was always going to be a success wherever she plays as she is a talented player.

“This is a huge blow for West Ham as her goal contributions have been huge for us and I am incredibly disappointed that she has not remained at the club.

It was rumoured that she will move across London to another WSL club, and that has turned out to be Chelsea.

“Upon her departure it is clear we have now had to a find a replacement who will contribute to the midfield attack, this is not going to be easy after she made 45 appearances in total and scored some fantastic goals.

It is a fact of life in football that players move on, but it is always a blow to see important performers go, especially if they end up signing for local rivals.

The club is certainly undergoing a transitional offseason with coach and captain also departing, so it is tricky to predict how they will follow up a sixth placed league finish.

But hopes are always high as the preseason gets underway and at this stage there is plenty of anticipation as to how the team will look under the guidance of new manager Paul Konchesky.