Hayes keen to work in men’s game


Published: Thursday 30th October 2014 by The News Editor

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The only female manager in the Women’s Super League top flight has revealed she would love to test herself in the men’s professional game.

Emma Hayes led her Chelsea team to a second-place finish in the WSL in the season just ended, with Liverpool taking the title on goal difference.

The 38-year-old former boss of the Chicago Red Stars has been home in England for two years with Chelsea, taking her prominent post just as the women’s game began to benefit from a rush of support from the Football Association and parent clubs.

Londoner Hayes initially seized the chance to work in the United States, the country that was quickest of all on the uptake with women’s professional football, because she saw no prospect of earning a living in the English game.

That is changing, and with former Arsenal manager Shelley Kerr coaching the men’s team at Stirling University, who play in the tier outside the Scottish Professional Football League, even previously bolted doors are opening to women.

“I’d hope so,” Hayes said. “All coaches aspire to be at the best level they can get to, and I’m no different.

“If it happened for me that the next opportunity was in the men’s game, then I’d welcome that.

“But I also think there needs to be more female coaches at the top end of the women’s game before more are entering into the men’s game.”

The UEFA A licence is a prerequisite for WSL managers, and Camden-born Hayes wants those running the women’s game to show faith in female candidates who achieve that standard.

“As clubs and boards and chairmen diversify, I think we will see more opportunities, but it’s up to those who are in charge to place more trust in female leaders,” Hayes told Press Association Sport.

Hayes addressed Kick It Out’s Women’s Raise Your Game conference at Upton Park this week, and spoke of the opportunities opening up in football, including coaching, media and sports science.

She added: “I’ve come home after 10 years in America and am now able to forge a career at a club like Chelsea, to provide opportunities not just for professional players but for staff involved in the game, and that is similar to what’s being done at other clubs around the country.

“I think this is a real golden period in women’s football.”

Published: Thursday 30th October 2014 by The News Editor

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