Emma Hayes: Better coaching standards ‘need to be across women’s game’

Emma Hayes and her Watford team-mates

Women’s top-flight manager Emma Hayes has said the game will never reach “true equality” until more people are spoken to.

Chelsea coach Hayes is just one of several high-profile football personalities who are speaking out about the importance of raising visibility for female coaches.

One female coach, Hannah Summers, has been in charge of a division one team since 2011.

“There is always more to be done,” Hayes told BBC Sport.

“I think in terms of leading and promoting women, there is so much more to be done.

“Most things we see in sport I feel are full-on versus what could be an opportunity to nurture talent and see some of the changes that could be made.”

Hayes began her coaching career in the National League and has also had spells in the Football League with Bristol City, Lincoln City and Morecambe, where she started work with her local junior sides.

The 40-year-old, who won the FA Women’s Cup with WSL champions Chelsea earlier this summer, says the academy system, which is now 30 years old, is not adequate to deal with the needs of women managers.

“Most of the people that used to be involved in coaching before, who have been coaching these coaching schools – and I know what those schools are like – they are men,” she said.

“If those men are not coming in to coach for women then why in God’s name should girls be involved in coaching?

“Unless we create a network of women working with women, they’re going to look elsewhere.”

Defender Hill reveals motivation

Stunning: Midfielder Natalie Hill battles in a recent Luton Under-21 match

Britain’s only female professional footballer Natalie Hill spoke to BBC Sport ahead of playing for her first international game for Great Britain in Glasgow.

After retiring from the Women’s Super League three seasons ago, West Ham United woman Hill is looking to make an impact for the Lionesses in their friendly against Costa Rica on Tuesday night.

“I really believe it is important for the coaching standard to be up there,” Hill said.

“Women’s football is on the rise so I can’t wait to go out there and test myself against a top team.”

While the former Man United trainee was a pioneer for women in football, Hill has high hopes for a more equal playing field as she prepares to embark on her coaching career.

“I think women will eventually have equal treatment in terms of pay and things like that,” she said.

“I’m not saying men are doing anything wrong – I just think maybe there is more on the table.”

Leave a Comment