Interview: Emma Hayes reflects on achieving her 12-year ambition | News | Official site

When Emma Hayes arrived at Chelsea 12 years ago, she used her first interview to highlight that the women’s team was underperforming and not living up to its potential. She certainly changed that as a manager.

Hayes transformed Chelsea during his tenure, both on and off the pitch. Sixteen trophies were won along the way and she leaves as one of the most influential figures in the club’s history.

It was not easy. The change did not happen overnight either. Major steps had to be taken as Hayes slowly changed the culture of the team, not just to one that competes at the highest level but to one that wins.

In the process, the perception of Chelsea Women (and women’s football) was altered. The fan base grew. It was a travel.

From struggling at the bottom of the table, winning our first trophy in 2015 and finally lifting a seventh Women’s Super League title, those moments have been defined by what Hayes has built from what people see on the matchday.

And for the woman herself, who we spoke about exclusively during her final week at the helm, there is no defining characteristic that describes what it means to be Chelsea. She’s bigger than that.

“These are the behaviors you demonstrate every day,” Hayes explained. ‘It is the expectation that one places on oneself and on others. They are the standards. It is the search for excellence. It’s the consistency of being a good teammate, especially when things aren’t going your way or you’re not on the team.

‘It’s being good to your community, no matter the outcome. It’s about doing your duty. It’s asking yourself every day of the week, “What am I doing to help our team win?”

“That’s what it takes to be a great professional at the club.”

Those are the components that make Chelsea, and those ingredients began far from the high-performance environment that Hayes developed and enjoyed during his final season in charge.

“Initially we trained until 9.30pm on the 3G pitch and had board meetings in the curry house in Cobham with Rob (Udberg), Paul (Green) and Stuart (Searle),” Hayes said.

“Those days were about forging a bond between people off the field, so we had a solid foundation to build on when we set out on the journey.

“Something I definitely take pride in is making sure that everything off the field continued to progress, continued to grow and we continued to put ourselves in a situation where we could provide the best environment for the players.”

“I think that’s one of the reasons we’ve been so successful.”

Countless memories have been made and celebrations enjoyed thanks to the success of Hayes and his players. However, the 47-year-old acknowledges that representing a club at the highest level can take its toll.

However, Hayes hopes that all the players who have played for the Blues during his tenure will one day remember all the good times they shared.

“It’s not easy to wear this jersey,” Hayes admitted. “This comes with a lot of pressure. ‘There is a lot of expectation. The demands placed on you as a Chelsea player are not for the faint-hearted, that’s for sure, but look at the rewards.

‘I’ve never said it’s easy. It can be relentless. It takes a lot and it can be quite unforgiving, but I want everyone to look back when they sit down with their children and their grandchildren and say, “This is what I did, this is what I accomplished” and all those difficult times will have been worth the effort. grief.

Hayes undoubtedly leaves the Chelsea women’s team in a better place than where she found it, and that ambition she set out 12 years ago to turn the club into one that competes in the UEFA Champions League and title challenges They have certainly been achieved.

And while she won’t be spearheading our next chapter, she doesn’t want the success to slow down anytime soon.

“I want this team to continue winning,” he concluded. “This is my club and that will never change.”