Joined: 11/05/2021 13:27:39
Chelsea boss Emma Hayes says inspiring the new generation is as important as Champions League glory
(CNN)Chelsea manager Emma Hayes says winning the club's first Women's Champions League would be an "incredible achievement," but insists success is also about inspiring the next generation of young girls.
Speaking to CNN Sport's Amanda Davies ahead of the final against Barcelona on Sunday, the 44-year-old says she feels relaxed and is determined to enjoy the experience.
Her team, full of world class stars such as Fran Kirby and Sam Kerr, has been in sensational form and could become the first English women's team to win a European trophy since Arsenal in 2007.
"It would be an incredible achievement to do that," Hayes told CNN Sport.
"But what I would be most proud of, beyond the winning, is that women's football is going to dominate the back sheets, the front pages, the news broadcasting that evening.
"Scores of little girls are going to run into school the following day and say, 'Did you see Fran Kirby last night?' That for me is as important as winning the game."
Hayes has turned Chelsea into a winning machine this season and the club is bidding for an astonishing quadruple.
It has already clinched the WSL title and League Cup this year, with just the Champions League and FA Cup left to win.
The last women's team to win the quadruple was Arsenal back in 2007, where Hayes was working as an assistant to manager Vic Akers.
"There's probably a lot of similarities," she said, comparing the two sides. "The difference being is, I think, I've got more depth.
"We both had match winners, we both had top goalkeepers. We've both got experience as coaches. I think the strength in depth is the one thing that probably stands my team apart from that team."
Addicted to winning
Chelsea's current form saw Hayes become the subject of speculation over a possible move to Wimbledon's men's team, which plays in the third tier of English football.
However, at the time, she insisted the job would have been a huge step down from her current position and says she's proud to have guided her club to the very top of the game.
"It's been my life for nine years. I have poured every part of my being into putting the team into this position, and I know how hard everybody around me has worked," added Hayes, who has drawn comparisons to Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson.