With Chelsea Women, including our returning World Cup stars, to play a WSL match at Stamford Bridge for the first time when the season resumes in September, the team’s manager Emma Hayes is hugely enthusiastic about the prospect.
Tickets are free for the match on Sunday 8 September, and are available to book now. With the opposition being newly promoted Tottenham and men’s Premier League football taking a break that weekend due to international fixtures, a big crowd is expected.
‘I’m really excited for the fans, the players and everyone involved with the club that we get the chance to play at the home of Chelsea Football Club,’ declares Hayes.
‘It’s an honour to get that opportunity, against one of our London rivals, and it’s the first chance the fans will have to watch all our players who took part in the World Cup. I hope we can get as many fans as we possibly can in the stadium.
‘Women’s football has moved into the mainstream,’ she continues. ‘It’s being appreciated by the masses, it has developed a whole new fanbase which I hope realises it has these top players right on their doorstep.
‘They don’t have to wait once every four years to see them, they’re up the road. The whole league is stacked with players who showcased their world-class talent in France over the past month or so.’
This will not be the first time Hayes’s team play at Stamford Bridge. They did so for a Women’s Champions League game against Wolfsburg back in 2016, but the manager feels the progress since then means the WSL debut comes at a better time.
‘To start a new campaign at Stamford Bridge is a statement from the club about the importance of the women’s game and its growth,’ she says. ‘For people to come and watch it in a top stadium, with top players on show, is massive.
‘I’m keen to see not just the existing fanbase there, but also new supporters who fell in love with the game over the summer but are Chelsea fans. I want to see them come together in their droves, with their songs, flags and an energy and intensity that ultimately helps us towards three points against one of our rivals to start the league campaign in the best possible fashion.’