Sam Kerr and her teammates have been delivered some brutal news, with treble-winning coach Emma Hayes set to leave Chelsea at the end of the year. Hayes has been a central part of Chelsea's success across the last few years having won six Women's Super League titles and 14 overall trophies at Chelsea.
Speculation has been mounting that Hayes could be set for the US national team head coach role after the resignation of coach Vlatko Andonovski in August. This followed a poor showing for the US team at the women's World Cup having lost to Sweden in penalty shootouts in the round of 16.
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While nothing has been announced, unfortunately Chelsea confirmed Hayes' departure so she could "pursue a new opportunity outside of the WSL and club football". In 11 years with Chelsea Hayes has dominated, leading the team to two domestic league and cup doubles and one trophy treble. Kerr joined Hayes at Chelsea in 2020 and has since gone on to become undoubtedly one of the best forwards in the world.
Arsenal coach Jonas Eidevall lauded Hayes as one of the figures to aspire to in the game. "Emma is a legend in the game. She is going to leave a legacy that I think is the aim for all managers to do...well done to her," he said after hearing about the confirmation.
The Swedish manager then joked he was hoping to make her job for the remainder of the year as difficult as possible, to stop her winning a seventh league title. Reports suggest Hayes would become the highest paid female manager in the world if she was to join the US national team.
Chelsea fans reacted with shock to the news after watching Hayes transform Chelsea into a title powerhouse across her 11 year reign.
'Emma is a legend in the game. She is going to leave a legacy that I think is the aim for all managers to do... well done to her' 🙌
Jonas Eidevall 🤝 Emma Hayes pic.twitter.com/FEwF6ooGYy
— Sky Sports WSL (@SkySportsWSL) November 5, 2023
There will be no female manager that can replace Emma😭😭😭,,I just want her to depart with a champions league
— Doryn💙 (@dor94554) November 4, 2023
I'm in tears man... Missing Emma already!
— Izik (@Saint_Shevy) November 4, 2023
She will be missed.
— V Y C K S T A ☆ (@dawnpandemic) November 5, 2023
Emma Hayes leaves remarkable Women's Super League legacy
Chelsea wished Hayes the best in her next role after such a successful time at the club. "Emma has been one of the biggest drivers of change in women's football. Her achievements at Chelsea are unrivalled and will live in the club's history forever," co-sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley said in a statement. "Given everything she has contributed to Chelsea in over a decade with the club, and the legacy she leaves behind, we would never stand in her way when she felt it was the right time to pursue a new challenge."
Chelsea defeated Aston Villa 6-0 in their previous game to move three points clear at the top of the table after five games. Kerr and her teammates will be keen to send Hayes off in style with a seventh title.
Aiming to become the first nation to win the trophy three times in a row, the US were eliminated by Sweden in a penalty shootout in the round of 16. Andonovski left shortly after.
Hayes has worked in America in the past as a coach with Long Island Lady Riders, Iona College and Chicago Red Stars. She has been at Chelsea since 2012 and will have the chance to win a seventh WSL title before she departs.
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