Interview

Emma Hayes on staying at home during the coronavirus outbreak

Chelsea FC Women manager Emma Hayes spoke on BBC 5 Live about the challenges she is facing throughout the coronavirus pandemic, and revealed how she is maintaining her mental health during the lockdown.

Due to the continuous spread of COVID-19, all football in England is suspended until at least 30 April and Hayes has stressed the importance of staying at home.

‘I think that is quite mentally tough to try and do that [stay at home] but ultimately we all have to do what is right for the people that are most vulnerable, the NHS workers and those that suffer more than most of us,' she said. 

Before this enforced break, the Blues were enjoying a fantastic run having been unbeaten this campaign, with our first piece of silverware coming at the end of February when we clinched the Continental Tyres League Cup for the first time in our history. Once the league resumes, Hayes is under no illusion her squad and the rest of the women’s game will face challenges.

‘Life will change come the end of this because I don’t think it is something that will settle even after a period of eight- to 12-weeks quarantine,’ she said.

‘With the women’s game there is going to be challenges ahead and maybe not for the clubs at the top necessarily, but I think there is going to be challenges with smaller clubs around the world.

‘Players can’t go to work, it’s not like players can work from home. Yes they can do some gym work etc. in isolation, but when the season does resume there will be a large chunk where some would not have touched a ball.’
 

Hayes, who is a mother to a young child, is trying to establish a new work-life routine and admitted she is finding it difficult to adapt to the changes of her lifestyle. She is trying to find ways to stay productive and she and her staff have been using the situation as a window for reflection and self-development.

‘My routine is not being at home with a child every day, mine has been with a football team so I’m having to adjust, which is great because I’m with my son. But I’m also having to contemplate mentally how I will cope through this period because naturally the concerns for me and for everybody else are around something that is going on in our lives irrevocably.

‘In the times in between where I have got to do conference calls with my staff, we’re actually taking the opportunity to develop ourselves but I’m finding it really difficult to do that with a baby round my ankles.

‘I will try and keep myself sane with a bit of education and also get gym equipment out. It’s probably the first time it’s been out since I’ve had a baby, so maybe this will be my pre-season to get fit before we get back – I’ll have a go anyway!’
 

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