Hayes-the english womens football coach

Who is Emma Hayes: A Legendary England Women's Football Coach

In the fast evolving women's football world, a few names stand out as trailblazers, guiding the sport into new realms of recognition and success. Emma Hayes, whose remarkable coaching career has made her a prominent figure in the she football history. Her innovative approach, unparalleled dedication, and consistent success with Chelsea FC Women have set new standards for coaching in the WSL and beyond.

1. Who is Emma Hayes?

    Emma Hayes is a distinguished name in the realm of women's football, best known for her transformative coaching role with Chelsea FC Women. Since joining the club in 2012, she has led Chelsea to numerous titles, including six WSL champions and five Women's FA Cup victories. Hayes' coaching prowess has also seen her team reach the final of the UEFA Women's Champions League in 2021. Her tactical expertise, meticulous attention to detail, and emphasis on player development have made her one of the most successful coaches in women's football history, She has personally won the WSL's Manager of the Season award six times and was nominated the FIFA Best Football Coach award three times.

emma hayes won numerous titles as a womens football coach

2. The Rise of Emma Hayes

    Born in London in 1976, then studied at Liverpool Hope University, graduating in 1999. In these days, Hayes played for Arsenal's academy as a midfielder from 1988 to 1996, but an ankle injury while on a ski trip when she was 17 ultimately ended her playing career. This short period of her playing career with the Gunners was the reason she later began her assistant coaching career at Arsenal.

young emma hayes at arsenal the england womens football coach

from arsenalpics

    Her early coaching experiences include working in the United States, where she coached at Iona College and then at the Chicago Red Stars in the WPS(the former NWSL). However, her experience there was indeed a challenging test for becoming the later tactics genius Emma Hayes.

    Despite having top American talents like Rapinoe, Lloyd, and Cristiane, and being seen as the strongest team among the seven inaugural WPS teams, Chicago Redstars finished only in 6th place after their first season.

    After the disappointing first season, the Redstars underwent a complete roster overhaul, and it seemed like Emma Hayes was set to prove herself in her second season. However, as fate would have it, challenging times often shape growth, and setbacks can serve as fuel for development. In her second season, the team still finished second-to-last in the standings.

“I remember getting sacked and I was in a Starbucks. I got sacked in a Starbucks,” Hayes told  the Game Changers  podcast. “I didn’t have my phone because I dropped it in the toilet that morning. I asked the person who sacked me to lend me their phone because I just needed to get a lift out of there.”

emma hayes in her lost american times before becoming a great englad womens football coach

from getty images

    However, this international experience gave her a unique perspective on coaching styles and tactics, allowing her to refine her approach.

3. Zero to Legend

    Just like her challenging experience in the United States, Chelsea at that time was not the championship-winning powerhouse with a star-studded lineup that we know today. In fact, as one of the eight founding teams of the WSL, Chelsea Women lost to Birmingham City Women in the 2012 FA Cup final. It was against this backdrop that Emma Hayes took on the challenge of coaching the team. So it is fair to say that when Emma Hayes took over, she just inherited an ordinary team.

    However, this time, Hayes, with more experience about failure, didn't need much time to adjust. She led the team to a rapid turnaround in the 2013-14 season, guiding them from the bottom of the league to becoming the league runners-up.

emma hayes in 2012

    In 2015, she led Chelsea to their first domestic double, an impressive feat, and in the following four years, they lifted the WSL trophy three times. On the European stage, she also guided the Blues into the semi-final stage of the UEFA Women's Champions League.

    During 2015~2020, the current Tottenham captain, Beth England, was Chelsea's undisputed leader and team captain. Under the leadership of Hayes and England, Chelsea maintained absolute competitiveness in both domestic league and cup competitions. This period also marked a time when Emma Hayes won numerous awards, reinforcing her reputation as one of the top coaches in women's football.

beth england and emma hayes won-conti_cup

    As Sam Kerr Shining, Chelsea's attacking firepower grew stronger under Emma Hayes' new tactical system. Eventually, in 2021, they reached the final of the UEFA Women's Champions League. However, in the final, they couldn't overcome the superior strength of the Spanish Women, Barcelona.


    Yet, the greatness of Hayes and this young Chelsea team shined brightly, even without a championship to validate their achievements. It was in this year that she received the FIFA Best Women's Coach award, symbolizing the highest honor for female coaches. 

4. Where Is Her Next Destination

    This legendary England women's football coach, who arrived quietly and left with a wealth of accolades after a decade of success, will officially end her 12-year tenure with Chelsea at the conclusion of this season. Emma Hayes is set to take over as the head coach of the United States Women's National Team, and we'll see her leading the USWNT at the Women's Football Tournament in the Paris Olympics this year. 


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