How West Ham teammates and girlfriends Mackenzie Arnold and Kirsty Smith approach working together

Matildas star Mackenzie Arnold‘s life has changed dramatically in the three years since she moved to London.

The 29-year-old goalkeeper reached global notoriety for her history-making performance during the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup quarter-final and was named captain of Women’s Super League side West Ham United in September.

But it was seven months earlier that she and teammate Kirsty Smith went public with their off-pitch relationship.

Watch the video above.

Mackenzie Arnold and Kirsty SmithMackenzie Arnold and Kirsty Smith

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The couple first met in July 2022, when Scottish-born Smith, 30, defected from Manchester United. By February 2023, they were Instagram-official.

And while Arnold and the defender are girlfriends – Smith has publicly referred to Arnold as her “favourite person” on social media more than once, and Arnold recently said on Instagram her “life is so much better” with Smith in it – they are technically, first and foremost, colleagues.

So, like any other ‘office romance’, do Arnold and Smith find themselves keeping their working relationship and romantic relationship separate?

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“A little bit, I don’t think we’re consciously doing it,” Arnold, who most recently returned to Australia to spend Christmas with her family, told 9honey.

“When you’re in a team environment, you’re always going to be teammates, that’s just the reality of the job. But I don’t think in any aspect we try and separate it, it just comes naturally.”

Smith isn’t the only athlete, however, whom Arnold is close with personally on the West Ham United team.

Arnold’s Matildas teammate Sam Kerr‘s fiancée Kristie Mewis just made the move from Gotham FC, and Arnold’s Matildas teammate Katrina Gorry also announced her transfer to the team over the weekend.

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Mackenzie Arnold and Kirsty SmithKatrina Gorry

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Arnold and Smith’s working relationship, however, is one that has to be particularly close simply due to the nature of their positions.

Any drama that could happen between Arnold the goalkeeper and Smith the defender on the pitch, however, doesn’t “ever really affect [their] relationship”.

“Like any defender, if I needed to tell her something or she wanted to ask me something, it’s just part of the job,” Arnold says.

“It just comes naturally, I suppose. We can communicate how any other relationship does, it’s just quite normal… we enjoy it, it’s all good.”