Chelsea Women manager Emma Hayes believes the club’s trip to Israel was the perfect preparation for the upcoming Women’s Super League (WSL) season.
The Blues faced the Israeli Women’s national team during their visit, securing a 3-1 victory courtesy of goals by Bethany England, Magdalena Eriksson and Sophie Ingle.
In addition to helping Chelsea’s build-up to the new season, the game was also staged to increase the profile of the women’s game in Israel.
Chelsea kick-off the new WSL campaign at home to newly-promoted Tottenham Hotspur in just over two weeks’ time and Hayes was happy with how her team performed.
“The objective is to prepare the team for September 8 and it’s been a hard training week and a lot to take on,” Hayes told the club’s official website.
“Our ambition this week was to win the game plus push the women’s game here in Israel, and I think it was the right result for all of those things so I’m happy with that.
“Of course we aim to win every game of football we play in, but this is about leaving something in this country that they can push on in, on the back of the World Cup and on the back of this visit that they can continue to invest in this sport.”
In addition to playing the game, team members took part in Chelsea Foundation coaching and education sessions with girls from both Israeli and Palestinian backgrounds.
They also met up with owner Roman Abramovich and other club officials at the Western Wall of the historical Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
The meeting was an opportunity for Abramovich to check on the progress of the women’s team and for Hayes to lay out her vision for the future.
“It was a wonderful day, for all the staff and players,” she added. “The fact we get to spend time in Israel with Roman, who has brought us out here, once again shows his commitment and dedication to the women’s game.
“It is a week of promoting women’s football using Chelsea as an example of what you can achieve with investment and support and a continuation of the important ‘Say No to Antisemitism’ campaign.
“We talked about the women’s game and how the trip has gone. He asked me how the players were and if they were ready for the new season. Roman showed his passion for the team and the women’s game in general.”
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