It was announced earlier today that Emma Hayes is extending her stay with the club and in her first interview since signing a new deal, the Blues boss spoke exclusively to us.
The Chelsea manager, who has won 10 major trophies during her nine-year reign with the club, talks about her decision to put pen-to-paper, her ambitions for the upcoming campaign and how she is enjoying a different role as a co-commentator at Euro 2020.
Thinking back to your first day at the club, did you ever imagine sitting here today having won 10 trophies with Chelsea and with women’s football where it is now?
I could! It was always my vision for the club, to be in a position where we were competing for honours at a domestic and international level. We have been able to fulfil that and there is still so much more we want to do.
How happy are you to have signed a new deal at the club and was it an easy decision for you?
My love for the club has always been mutual. I have so much respect for our owner, the board and all the departments that support the team. The players have given everything to the badge, and I think we are an envy of a lot of clubs around the world because of how we place women front and centre and I have Roman to thank for that.
What would you say is your favourite moment/moments with the club?
It’s always seeing the team grow and getting better. I always enjoy that part the most over the winning. It’s all of it. I like the difficult moments, from the losses, the most growth comes from it. Even though there was a 4-0 loss to Barcelona, it’s still hands down a huge achievement to make it to that stage and making the Champions League final was the biggest achievement to date.
You’ve won every domestic title with Chelsea, what are your ambitions for next season?
It’s getting hard to stay at the top. We know the level of investment that is going into the game around the league, worldwide. For us, raising our standards has always been part of our identity and that has to be our priority if we are able to achieve anywhere near the level of success we’ve had so far.
You are going into your 10th season at the club, over that period of time, how would you say you have developed both as a coach and a person?
I’ve matured into a parent in that time and that along with this job has taught me the wisdom of selflessness, giving to the community, to realising I’m in a service sector where you are having to sacrifice yourself all of the time and that’s why these breaks are important because the job takes so much out of you.
We’ve seen over the last few years how competitive the WSL has become, what are you expecting from this upcoming campaign?
It’s going to be even harder! To think we won the league by two points just shows you every game counts and I expect Arsenal and Everton, with their investment, to be contenders.
You’ve been heavily praised for your co-comms during the Euro 2020, how much have you been enjoying it?
I’ve enjoyed doing something different. I’ve enjoyed being around a brilliant group of people. The football has been brilliant. I’ve been learning different skills and importantly I’m picking up tactical ideas off all the teams across the competition which I hope will help me with my job of managing this team.
Finally, it was announced recently that we have sold out our allocation of season tickets, how much did you and the players miss the fans last season and how much are you looking forward to welcoming them back to Kingsmeadow?
Every football fan knows what it’s been like to be without their team and ours are no different. We achieved all that winning, and they haven’t had a chance to be with us. That’s tough on them. I know the welcome they will give the team when they are back in the stadium, and I look forward to that moment.