West Ham sign Poland international Kinga Szemik

Kinga Szemik saves a ball during the UEFA Women's EURO 2025 Qualifier match between Germany and Poland
Kinga Szemik saves a ball during the UEFA Women's EURO 2025 Qualifier match between Germany and Poland at Ostseestadion on May 31, 2024 in Rostock, Germany. (Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images)

West Ham United have signed Polish goalkeeper Kinga Szemik, who joins the Women’s Super League side until 2027.

Szemik started her career in Mitech Żywiec before being called up to the U17 Poland team in 2012. As the first goalkeeper, she was with the squad during the UEFA U17 Women’s EURO first qualification round. That started the team’s route to the gold medal of the team in 2013. In 2014, she moved to the US, where she played in the NCAA Division I for the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley.

Becoming Poland’s number one

In 2020, Szemik moved to FC Nantes in the Division 2 Féminine. After two years of unsuccessful battle for the promotion to D1 Arkema, she moved to Stade Reims. In the first season, she was the substitute for Emily Alvarado, playing mostly in the French Cup games (including the quarterfinal against Olympique Lyonnais, which ended up with OL’s victory in the shootout). After Alvarado left for Portland Thorns for the 2023 NWSL season, Szemik became number one. In the 2023/24 season, she won the Golden Glove for keeping the most clean sheets in the D1 Arkema.

“People just look at how much I play, but being number two in these first months in Reims developed me more as the goalkeeper,” said Szemik after the national team game against Costa Rica in April 2023, just after stepping into Alvarado’s shoes.

Although she made her senior Polish National Team debut in 2018, she started playing regularly in 2022 and eventually took over the No. 1 shirt as Katarzyna Kiedrzynek battled injuries. After Kiedrzynek came back, they rotated in UEFA Women’s Nations League B, leading the team to League A of EURO 2025 qualifiers. But Kiedrzynek’s retirement from the national team in May means Szemik is now the number one in Poland’s goal.

A new chapter in England

“I’m so happy to be signing for West Ham United. West Ham is one of the biggest clubs in England with a rich history. The WSL is also the best league in the world, which has evolved so much over the years,” Szemik told the West Ham website. “I think this is the best place for me to progress as a player and evolve as a person as well.

“There’s always room for improvement, and that’s what I look forward to most — developing as a player and trying to help the team as much as I can. I’m already looking forward to getting down to business and meeting the West Ham fans.”

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