Hayes urges Women's Super League to support female coaches

Hayes wants more support for female coaches
Hayes wants more support for female coachesProfimedia
Chelsea manager Emma Hayes has urged the Women's Super League to take practical steps to avoid a decline in the number of female coaches as she prepares to bow out of English football.

Hayes, who is taking over as head coach of the US women's national team, will seek to end a successful 12-year career at Chelsea by winning a seventh WSL title against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday's final day of the season.

Chelsea have the same number of points as Manchester City but a marginally better goal difference ahead of the shootout for the title.

On the same day, Aston Villa manager Carla Ward, who like Hayes is a mother, will take charge of her final match at home to Chelsea's WSL title rivals Manchester City.

Ward, mother to a four-year-old Hartley, is leaving a year before her contract was due to expire "to prioritise other important things, such as family life".

Hayes, asked how she would like to see the WSL improve, told reporters on Friday: "I've been an advocate of not just the women's game but how to do the best for women in the game and I still think we're wide of the mark with that.

"I think there will be declining numbers of female coaches for sure, because of the demands. And if you're a parent, forget about it, unless we have an openness and a willingness to consider different things.

"It's really, really difficult to be a parent and full-time in this industry, which isn't nine to five, it's seven days a week."

The 47-year-old called for greater flexibility, saying: "So I think being open to doing things differently - I'd love to see a co-coaching team, females coaching the game, maybe two mums. I think we have to consider those things."

Hayes, who is chasing a fifth straight WSL title, also expressed concerns that social media abuse, so long a feature of men's football, was "getting a little nasty" in the women's game.

"I see some of the abuse this year that's been at an extreme level, whether it was (Tottenham goalkeeper) Becky Spencer in the FA Cup final the other day... (Chelsea's) Lauren James or (another Chelsea player) Fran Kirby, whoever," she said.

"I think there's that part of the game or social media that I don't like. I hope that changes with regulations."

Earlier this week Arsenal announced plans for their women's team to play 11 games at the club's main Emirates Stadium next season and Hayes said Chelsea should follow the example of their London rivals.

"This should be happening here - that's what I want to see at Chelsea. I want to see us at Stamford Bridge every week, but sold out.

"I want the girls to have a new facility. I want that to continue to be upgraded. I want them to continue to have a voice - and I know they will.

"I know the technical directors will work with the player leadership group. I want them to never ever stop asking 'what can we do better'?"

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