“When did I realize you were good at your job?” Sid Hayes says, 80-year-old father of Chelsea manager Emma Hayes. “I will tell you a story about the London Olympics.”
Hayes, for all intents and purposes, is out of business as she sits next to her father in Wembley for the Olympic women's soccer final. “There was a ceremony on the field where the three teams [USA, Japan and third-placed Canada] collected their medals,” Sid recalls. Emma said: 'Daddy, you see these 51 are there people there? I coached 40 of them. ' 'Wow, but are you sitting here unemployed?' I thought. It was time to go back. That month, August 2012, he took the job at Chelsea.
40 – this month Chelsea's leading one-year creation history Women's first Champions League final was only fired by the 2010 Chicago Red Stars. “He was heartbroken, absolutely devastated,” says his sister, Rebecca. “It was a little tough – I think there are only five games left. This was the biggest learning curve of his life. That's when he stepped back from football. ”
After serving as a consultant on a Washington Freedom team that included US internationals such as Abby Wambach, Hayes returned to London to work. For the family business, Covent Garden FX, a currency exchange.
“She needed something casual, to get away from it, let's see what [coaching] really wanted to do,” Rebecca says. “People were phoning him, wanting him to be in different clubs, but he needed this time to evaluate, review and just enjoy raising something for the family. He built software systems, he built websites, he took it to another level. He put money on the Internet that my father would never understand. “For anyone who has followed Hayes' Chelsea build, the model looks familiar.
Hayes kept his toe in the football waters by working as a coach for the Western New York Flash from London. who advised on transfers, helped build a team that won the Women's Professional Football Championship. But from where he was at the time, this journey as he prepares to face Barcelona in the Champions League final in Gothenburg is remarkable – and understanding it fully helps get you back to the start.
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At his Curnock Street estate in Camden, North London, Hayes' childhood was filled with football. Diego Maradona is a fan of Paul Gascoigne and Gary Lineker – “Gary Lineker's legs loved these! In her little shorts! ” her older sister Victoria says with a laugh – she played with boys and was directed to a club called Mary Ward by an elementary school teacher where she was the only girl she could play with. “We used to beat everybody and Emma was always the star of the show,” Rebecca says. “He was a creative, ingenious player, a scorer.”
For Victoria, it was a formative experience: “I think that's where she got her winning mentality. . They had a team that played for each other. He learned the true spirit of teams working together. ”
Hayes attended Arsenal's academy but suffered an ankle injury on a ski trip aged 17 and was told he would never play again. “He just couldn't be consoled,” Victoria said. “He was told not to hit the ball. This injury changed him. ”
With the rejection of football, Hayes did European studies, Spanish and sociology at Liverpool Hope. His intention was to become a spy, followed by a master in intelligence and international relations. “He can tell if you're lying,” Sid says. He learned all these tricks. When they started teaching people how to assassinate, it was time to go. ”
During his college holidays, Hayes helped and exhibited various jobs involving his father. work ethic that is part of its success. “He used to get up at five in the morning, go there by himself and cook 2,000 baguettes,” says Sid.
At Liverpool, he started getting coaching badges, not just in football, but in everything from swimming to table tennis. He worked in the sports development division for the city of Camden but had an itch that needed to be scratched.
“I remember lying in the bathroom; That's how close we are, one happens in the toilet and the other in the bathroom,” Rebecca says with a laugh. “She was like: 'This is my time to change. Where the elite is in this sport, where it is most professional, where will I learn, where will I grow up, and it will be America. “As devastating as this was for me, she was very determined. He hated the culture, the obstacles, the politics in this country. ”
Victoria and Rebecca drove her to the airport, the trio stopping on the road for a good cry. Hayes had a one-way ticket $ 1, a backpack, and a job at the MLS camps on Long Island. He didn't need much time to get her attention.
In 1991 Hayes became the youngest Long Island Lady Riders head coach in W-League history; the following year he was named national coach of the year 25; and 2004 Won a different coach of the year award with Iona College in New York despite insufficient resources. Eleri Earnshaw was her captain there. "We weren't Chelsea, we weren't the best team, but they demanded the highest standards," said the former Wales international. “Therefore, we entered every game right or wrong thinking we could win because we worked hard and how determined we were.”
Emma gave her team pink roses and poetry on the bus to the FA Cup final, and these days her team is watching motivational videos. Earnshaw's first year was behind Mark Twain's training shirts "The size of the fight in the dog, not the size of the dog in the fight".
Anson Dorrance, head coach at the University of North Carolina and the USA women's first World Cup win. He was “immediately impressed” by the Football Coaches course and knowledge of football in Brazil. “I teach the course here and this little slug had better references for the game than I do, so I obviously took it to him right away.”
But what caught his attention was more than knowledge. “He is clearly ambitious,” he says. “The problem with the way we raise our girls and young women is that we basically teach them to kneel. He was confident then, but now he commands. We praise men for having this quality [ambition] and yet we seem to praise women. ”
For Dorrance, the biggest takeaway Hayes has ever taken from the US is tactics or methodology. “I think women's football basically benefits from the status of the American coach because the women's game is respected in our country … The teeth of patriarchy in sports in our country are not so sharp.”
Learning more about recruiting in the US was also important to Hayes, according to Amanda Vandervort, who was NYU's head coach at the time, and would allow the Iona College coach to stay in her room while she hired trips to save money. money. "You're dealing with intense competition in the college hiring system," says Vandervort. “You should try to persuade players to come to your school when you have no budget and no scholarships.”
Katie Chapman, who plays for Arsenal in Chicago and Chelsea under Hayes, says her former manager values personality as well as talent and is "looking for a good person you can trust and to fight for her. joyful ".
Hayes returned to England in 2006 – but not for long. After a successful spell at Arsenal Ladies as academy director and assistant to legendary first-team manager Vic Akers, the quartet, the launch league of a new professional, has drawn him back to the United States. The Chicago Red Stars and Saint Louis Athletica wanted him, and he visited a psychic before traveling – for the first and only time.
The psychic said that his choice made it. It doesn't matter, because he would have his main success at Chelsea. “We had a belly laugh,” says Vandervort. Chelsea was an amateur back then, not even on the radar.
Getting chubby for Chicago, Hayes showed off his talent for recruiting. She signed with Karen Carney and drafted for a 2007 young Portland College: a certain Megan Rapinoe. Additions made the following year Chapman.
Then he was fired. “We never look at failure as failure,” Victoria says. Failure was his first attempt at learning, and this was his first attempt at learning to form a team. The attempt to form a second team at Chelsea was quite different. ”
Chapman says Hayes does “everything from washing the kit to eating out and making us do it” at Chelsea. to have our own building, our own training and courses. Now, this is an absolute pro install but over the years everything has been a struggle to get it done. He's always looking at how he can help everyone. ”
“She plays that role in the family,” Rebecca says, but her family is also crucial to her success. A support network through good and bad. Pregnancy weeks 2018. Rebecca says she was desperate for her family to take a step back, “but she couldn't stop her,” she says.
“To get stuck in the last game of the season: 'You can't go, you're right every day.' My mother supported him a lot in everything. He went to Wolfsburg, he continued, 10 million trains with him, and then we had to take our cousin, who was a midwife, on another journey. really close. Doctors were advising him not to do it, but he did. Nothing can stop him, not even his own health. It's all about the team – he would do anything to win. ”
Still, this is Hayes' greatest achievement as being a mother to Harry. Again, his family is there to help. While he's out for this final, they'll be going home in shifts, looking after Harry in his own environment. “She watches him on TV but she just wants to be on TV,” Rebecca says. “I asked Harry, 'What is a mummy?' You ask, and he says, 'A winner!' Says."
It will be a proud moment for his mentor Akers, who texts him before every game to watch Arsenal bring one trophy closer to the historic four. “If I wanted someone to receive such accolades by winning the Champions League, it would be it,” he says.
Rebecca cried for an hour after reaching Chelsea. end. “And so did my father – you can never see any weakness or any emotion in him, but he did the same.” Victoria said she spent the last minutes of the semi-final on the floor with a pillow over her head and her watch had a very high heart rate.
What makes Hayes want more? Sid says Chapman. His harshest critic. He doesn't let him get away with anything. That's what drives him. ”
Rebecca says: “She always wants more. You are never rewarded with a 'well done'. It's just: 'You did that, what's next?' ”
He reluctantly says he's proud when he remembers seeing Hayes' influence at United Soccer. Coaching convention in the USA. “This little girl from Camden teaches all these international coaches at the world's largest coaches convention: wow,” she says. These places have Emma. Frankly, I'm proud of him. He has a talent, a talent you can't buy. “