By PHILIP CHANDLER
Arrowtown-raised football Olympian Anna Leat’s scored her first pro contract.
The 20-year-old goalkeeper, who played the Foot ball Ferns’ game against reigning Olympic champs, the United States, in Tokyo last month, is joining London-based women’s Super League club, West Ham United, subject to an international clearance.
‘‘I’m British on my dad’s side and I’ve always wanted to live in England,’’ she says.
‘‘The opportunity came up, and it was perfect.
‘‘I’ve been wanting to make the jump to a pro league and this is the best in the world, so
I’m delighted to be at West Ham.’’
Ironically, West Ham’s training grounds are just 8km from where Leat’s dad, Steven Leat, was born.
West Ham’s Kiwi-born coach Olli Harder says: ‘‘Anna is somebody we’ve been monitoring for some time.
‘‘She’s a young goalkeeper with a lot of international experience for someone of her age.
‘‘I believe she is somebody who has a great mentality and fits into the culture we are creating here at West Ham.’’
Leat attended Arrowtown School, however her family left for Auckland to help her pursue her dreams — she made her international debut when she was only 15.
Only one other Football Fern, Ria Percival, plays in the Super League — in her case, for Tottenham Hotspur.