Chelsea star on impressive debut and the Australian bushfires
She may still feel like the new kid on the block but Chelsea’s star signing Sam Kerr is ready to turn the Blues into one of the best teams in Europe after her promising Women’s Super League debut.
Australian striker Kerr, who signed for Chelsea in November but was not eligible to play until the New Year, was thrown straight into the Blues’ starting XI in their 3-1 win over Reading on Sunday – just 11 days after she landed in Europe.
The striker, who holds the all-time goal-scoring records in both the American and Australian leagues, arrived on English shores with high expectations on her shoulders and she didn’t take long to live up to the hype, laying on a sublime backheel assist to Bethany England for Chelsea’s equaliser.
While unable to get her own name on the scoresheet at Kingsmeadow, blazing over from a one-on-one in the second minute, Kerr was satisfied with the impact she made on her first outing and cannot wait to see what the future holds for her in the Women’s Super League.
“I knew nobody coming here so I feel like the new kid at school,” said Kerr.
“I’m still finding my feet in England but it’s been quality working with Beth [England], she’s a great player.
“We’re going to complement each other well. I’m pleased to get an assist, but I need to sharpen up on my shooting.
“I’ve been a bit rusty coming back from a break but it’s always good to start. I was prepared just to start off putting my head down in training and doing what I could.
“I’ve only had about five days training with Chelsea, but all the sessions have been quality and they’ve managed me really well.
“Emma Hayes is a great coach, but all the girls have shown me the quality of training is amazing. I’ve been learning from them and they’ve been learning from me already.
“I think this time is one of the best teams in England and hopefully we can be one of the best teams in Europe going forward.”
Chelsea manager Hayes said that she ‘could not ask any more’ of Kerr on her Blues debut.
“I’m happy for her,” she said. “There’s a lot of expectation on her. It was a lot to start her today.
“We had an outbreak of flu, so I had no choice. I just asked her to push herself into the team and do a job and that’s what she did today. She fits in so well to the team.
“She’s humble, hard-working, honest, thoughtful and an unbelievable team player.”
Australia captain Kerr, who was born on the outskirts of Perth, also commented on the devastating bushfires ravaging her home country after the game at Kingsmeadow.
“It has been really tough. You feel quite helpless over here. Hopefully it can gain the media coverage it deserves like other natural disasters," she said.
“It is really sad and tough but hopefully everyone at home has had some rain overnight and it gets better.”
Chelsea are next in action when they host Bristol City next Sunday. To follow the action, buy tickets and sign-up for The FA Player’s live Barclays FA Women’s Super League coverage visit womenscompetitions.thefa.com