Women's Super League: Emma Hayes says Chelsea are 'raring to go' for new season

I don't make excuses, Chelsea will be ready - Hayes

Emma Hayes says Chelsea are "raring to go" for the new Women's Super League season having put their Champions League final defeat to Barcelona behind them.

Chelsea begin their WSL title defence against a new-look Arsenal at the Emirates on Sunday (12:30 BST).

Hayes expressed her excitement ahead of the opener.

"I'm raring to go and I know that the players are," she said.

"I've really enjoyed pre-season. Covid was tough last year so I just want to enjoy what I'm doing, enjoy the players and enjoy the privileged position that I'm in."

Hayes, who has been with Chelsea since 2012, signed a new contract with the club in July.

Last season she led the Blues to a second successive WSL title and the League Cup, as well as becoming the first English club in 14 years to reach the Women's Champions League final.

It was a game that saw Hayes' side beaten 4-0 by Barcelona, but the 44-year-old insisted they have put the defeat behind them.

"That was last May. It's done, it's dealt with," she said. "This is a new season, new opportunities and we look forward to taking them."

Arsenal, who finished third in the WSL last season, have a new manager in 38-year-old Jonas Eidevall.

The Swede has already recorded three wins in Champions League qualifying matches.

On Friday, the Gunners also announced the signing of two-time World Cup winner and former Manchester United forward Tobin Heath, having already brought in Nikita Parris and Mana Iwabuchi during the summer.

Hayes said she is expecting a tough game with both sides "very much at the same level".

"I just want the season to start," she added. "I hope there is a good crowd, I'm sure there will be a great product, two teams at very much the same level.

"It's all you can ask for on a Sunday afternoon game."

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