Emma Hayes used messages of support from Twitter to inspire Chelsea Ladies to their first ever FA Women’s Super League title yesterday.
The Blues beat Sunderland 4-0 with a Fran Kirby double and goals from Ji So-Yun and Gemma Davison to record the double having won the FA Cup in August.
The triumph came 23 years to the day since Chelsea played their first match and manager Hayes revealed she read Twitter messages to the team to inspire them to the historic triumph..
“I pulled a few pieces off Twitter to show to the girls,” she said.
“The first was from a parent of an Under-15 girl talking about how we’ve inspired her daughter.
“The second was about four young guys coming to the game today and how the make-up of our support is changing.
“The third was from our marketing officer at the football club, who is so proud of what the club is doing for women’s football, and the fourth was about that anniversary.
“It made the hairs on our necks stand up so that was the inspiration, talking about the legacy and the bigger picture.
“We have hunger and ambition, plus I’ve always said that character will play a part in whether we can go on to dominate for many years to come.
“We’ve certainly got a wonderful dressing room to try to achieve that.”
Chelsea settled their nerves seven minutes into the game, with Eniola Aluko racing down the pitch and setting up Ji to net.
Kirby then scored twice – the second showing why she’s referred to as the ‘mini Messi’ as the ball cannoned into the top corner.
Davison finished the victory off with a superb goal assisted by Kirby with four minutes left.
Six minutes of injury time prolonged the wait but the crowd were already celebrating – 12 months after losing the title on the final day last season.
“It was a champions’ performance, full of character and with outstanding performances across the board,” added Hayes.
“It certainly settled my nerves but that’s what we’ve come to expect of our front four; when they get around the outside of teams and play quick football, we’re capable of beating any team.
“I honestly can’t remember the feeling of 12 months ago
“It’s been a long year waiting for this day to come but we vowed never to go through that experience again.
“I’ve always said to the players that if you do it once then it’s a mistake, but if you do it twice then it’s a choice, and that’s the motto we’ve lived by throughout the season.
“We have hunger, ambition and a wonderful dressing room. The club have been behind us 100 per cent.
“We’re not treated any differently because, like all the other teams at this club, we’re breeding champions as well now.”
A record crowd of 2,710 watched the game at the Wheatsheaf Stadium and Hayes admitted even she has been surprised by the report.
“When I was told I was going to build a legacy at Chelsea, I certainly didn’t expect it to look like this,” she added.
“Seeing 2,700 people here with their blue flags, a brass band and my team as double winners – what more can I ask for?”
Chelsea now look toward the Champions League, playing their first match on October 14 at home to Glasgow City.
Feature image courtesy of BT Sport, with thanks