WSL: West Ham captain Dagny Brynjarsdottir ‘paving way’ for mothers in sport

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Dagny Brynjarsdottir and her eldest son Brynjar walked out on to the pitch together before a WSL game last season

West Ham captain Dagny Brynjarsdottir has been praised for taking part in an “incredible” film that shows her pregnancy journey and the challenges she faced as an elite footballer.

Her eldest son Brynjar was born in June 2018 while Brynjarsdottir was with Portland Thorns in the United States.

New documentary ‘Omarsson’ was released by West Ham ahead of Mother’s Day.

BBC Sport watched the film at an exclusive premiere in London on Wednesday, alongside Brynjarsdottir’s West Ham team-mates and staff.

Among those in attendance was Australia international Katrina Gorry, her two-year-old daughter Harper, and her partner, who is expecting a second child.

Gorry told BBC Sport: “It’s absolutely incredible [there is a documentary on pregnancy]. I think the more people that get to see it, the more people that know the struggles that exist but also the beautiful moments. They get to share in it.

“Dagny is paving the way not just for footballers but for athletes all across the world. I thought growing up I’d have to hang up my boots before starting a family; now it’s nice that things are changing and clubs are becoming more supportive.

“Dagny has great family support and club support – so you can see why she thrives on the field. It brings so much more enjoyment when you play and you have someone else to play for.

“When you walk off the pitch, they give you a smile. Nothing else matters in the game or anything like that. As a footballer, I don’t think you can ask for more.”

In the short film, Brynjarsdottir praised West Ham’s support and looked back at when the club held a gender reveal partyexternal-link at the Chadwell Heath training ground in October.

She also revealed that she “cried for several days” after finding out she was pregnant with her first child, but was reassured by her mother that she could return to the highest level in football.

Brynjarsdottir’s husband Omar – whose name features in the documentary title – described her as a “super-mum” and said she “proved us all wrong”.

“I wanted to show people I could still play in one of the best leagues and be a mum,” said Brynjarsdottir. “In 2024, after one match, I’ll have both of my boys walking on the pitch with me.”

‘I’m surrounded by really cool role models’

Katrina Gorry and her daughter Harper at the Women's World Cup in 2023Katrina Gorry, her partner and daughter Harper moved to London in January after signing for West Ham

Gorry joined West Ham in January, after leaving Swedish side Vittsjo, and a big part of her decision to move was the club’s support for daughter Harper.

“I spoke to Dagny a fair bit before I signed and I knew she had great support here, the girls were awesome and super supportive. That was the main factor for me,” said Gorry.

The midfielder spoke about her own journey into motherhood as part of the series ‘Matildas’ which aired on Disney+ in the build-up to the 2023 Women’s World Cup, co-hosted by Australia.

“The documentary we did definitely [touched other people’s lives],” added Gorry.

“There were so many people and athletes from around the world wanting to lean on [us] for advice and support. If Dagny can do that for any athlete hoping to start a family, while juggling work or football or any sport, it will be brilliant.”

West Ham striker Viviane Asseyi said Brynjarsdottir was an inspiration to her and a “good example for all of us” on how to be a professional footballer.

“I have respect for everyone but even more so for the mums because Dagny has two kids and it’s like ‘wow’,” Asseyi told BBC Sport.

“We thought before it was difficult to have a baby. But for me, it’s life. You have football of course, but you need to have your life also.

“It’s good that we now have a lot of examples like Dagny to show everyone that it’s possible to have a baby and have a life.”

Striker Emma Harries said she had not “personally seen growing up that you could be a mum and a professional footballer” but was at Reading in 2021 when Scotland international Emma Mukandi gave birth.

“Now I’m surrounded by these really cool role models and sportspeople. It just shows how it’s been promoted,” added Harries.

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