Sam Kerr put her impressive debut down to the welcome she received from everyone at the club, after playing a key role in Chelsea Women’s 3-1 win over Reading in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League on Sunday.
The Australian striker signed for the club in November but due to the transfer window in the women’s game had to wait until this weekend to make her debut, just nine days after touching down in London.
It was an eventful first outing in a Blue shirt, with Kerr missing a good chance inside two minutes and Reading taking the lead, before she was involved in the key incident in the match as Royals goalkeeper Grace Moloney saw red for wiping her out on the edge of the box.
After dusting herself down from the challenge, a moment of magic soon followed as Kerr teed up strike partner Bethany England with a sublime flick and our No.9 did the rest to draw the Blues level.
Second-half goals from Guro Reiten and Erin Cuthbert ensured the three points before Kerr was replaced on 77 minutes, leaving the field to a standing ovation from all those in attendance at Kingsmeadow.
Reflecting on the day, the 26-year-old said: ‘It’s been great, the squad is quality, everyone has been really welcoming and I feel like I have settled in well, it’s just getting to know each other better now and I’ve been enjoying it.
‘All the training sessions have been quality and they have managed me really well so I’m excited for next week.
‘Emma Hayes is obviously a great coach but the girls have been quality, they are all so good. The quality at training is amazing and they have been learning from me and I have been learning from them so I feel like we are going to complement each other well.
‘I had heaps of fun, I loved it, the girls are great and helped me out everywhere possible. I’m coming off a break so first game jitters but I’m enjoying it. I have only been here a week and I’m enjoying it so far.’
Among the things for Blues fans to be excited about is Kerr’s link-up play with our leading scorer, England, and the two-time National Women’s Soccer League Most Valuable Player is equally as enthusiastic about the new attacking partnership.
She said: ‘It was good to get out here and see the quality and it was good to link up with Beth [England], she’s a quality player.
‘I feel like we have connected really quickly and hopefully she can keep scoring because we need her.’
As for her first taste of English football, Kerr revealed she was fully prepared for the physical battle after a week of intense training at Cobham.
Talking about the first-half incident which resulted in Moloney being sent off and the standard of the game in general, she said: ‘There has been a few of them in training so I was ready for it. It’s a contact sport, I got one for the team so it’s all good.
‘I’m enjoying it. The girls are quality and they all really welcomed me so I’ve settled in the best I can in nine days.
‘I like that it’s in this compact stadium, the crowd was lively and like I said the girls have made me feel really comfortable so I’ve really enjoyed my time.
‘It was pretty high pace. I think the only difference is in America the fields are much bigger so it stretches out a lot more. I really enjoyed it but I’m still finding my feet so playing catch up a little a bit after my break.’
As for her aspirations both as an individual and for the team Kerr is confident the goals will come and the Blues can achieve big things in what remains of the season.
‘This team is one of the best in England for sure and hopefully we can be the best in Europe,’ she added.
‘I was following them but I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into but the quality at training is unbelievable. The players are awesome so as long as we play our best, we can be the best team in England for sure.
‘I was actually nervous because it was my first game in a few months, I haven’t been playing much so I was nervous. But it will come, get the jitters out and I can go from there.’
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