'Hello, I'm here!' – Classy Kerr impresses on Chelsea debut on and off pitch


Sam Kerr

There used to be a large media presence at Kingsmeadow on Sunday to leer Sam Kerr’s long-awaited Chelsea debut

She will be able to even very effectively be a world superstar and idea to be one of essentially the most prolific strikers in historical previous, however even Sam Kerr admitted to being “apprehensive and reasonably rusty” when she raced through on diagram 90 seconds into her Chelsea debut.

Nonetheless, if her wild trot away out over the highest of the bar used to be in the starting attach something of an anti-climax for the furious fans at Kingsmeadow, her total efficiency most likely used to be no longer.

The Australia striker, who signed for Chelsea in November however needed to wait unless January to form her Females’s Primary League bow, used to be thrust straight into the Blues’ starting side dinky higher than per week after touchdown in Europe, as a virulent disease of flu restricted manager Emma Hayes’ different suggestions up front.

Expectations among supporters and the media had been sky excessive, with Kerr retaining the all-time goalscoring recordsdata in each the American and Australian leagues, used appropriate 26, and having shone with five targets at the 2019 World Cup in France.

No matter spurning factual alternatives to be capable of add to her 148 profession league targets in her first competitive sport for higher than two months, Kerr’s vitality, wise circulation and all-round play confirmed what an world-class addition she shall be to England’s top flight.

Her deft backheel fed strike companion Beth England for Chelsea’s equaliser, after her poke and have to in discovering to the ball first in a streak with Grace Moloney ended in the Reading keeper being sent off.

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WSL: Chelsea 3-1 Reading highlights

If that bruising clattering from Moloney used to be a “welcome to England” moment, Kerr’s possess “hi there, I am here” message used to be to in discovering again with that natty contribution for England’s diagram.

“I am clearly tranquil discovering my toes in England however I loved it,” Kerr urged BBC Sport. “It used to be superior working with Beth. It’s nice playing alongside with her. I contain relish now we hold connected essentially quickly. She’s a high quality player.

“[An assist] is factual however I missed about a probabilities there so I essentially hold to sharpen up on my taking pictures. I used to be if truth be told apprehensive because it [the game’s early chance] used to be my first one-on-one in about a months.

“I’d been reasonably rusty getting again from a damage however I continuously must always delivery. I have not been playing grand, so I used to be apprehensive. However that’ll come. I will in discovering the jitters out the approach, and it be most attention-grabbing my first sport so I will be capable of trot from here.”

Kerr playing ‘freezing’ England

Having currently been placed first in the Guardian’s ballotof the field’s top 100 women’s gamers for 2019, Kerr’s signature used to be grand sought after across the globe.

So why did she bewitch the WSL and Chelsea?

“I’ve continuously been attracted to English football and the vibe that’s here and, talking to Emma [Hayes], she regarded relish essentially the most attention-grabbing fit for me, and doing reasonably bit of compare in regards to the women and the crew, it appropriate regarded valid,” she explained.

“It’s freezing here to be honest however I am playing it. The women are quality and they’ve essentially welcomed me so I’ve settled in as simplest as I will be capable of in nine days.

“They’ve been discovering out from me and I’ve been discovering out from them. I knew no one [in the team] so I used to be the unique kid at college.

“Right here is believed to be one of essentially the most attention-grabbing teams in England for certain and confidently we would possibly perhaps well additionally be idea to be one of essentially the most attention-grabbing teams in Europe going ahead.”

Kerr has joined the English women’s club with the best common dwelling attendance this season and a large crowd of pleased supporters waited long after corpulent-time to meet their unique current player.

She did no longer disappoint them, staying in the again of to mark infinite autographs and pose for pictures, with one fan even bringing alongside an inflatable kangaroo to demonstrate her.

Kerr used to be at the centre of attention sooner than, at some stage in and after her Chelsea debut on Sunday

On the pitch, Chelsea manager Hayes acknowledged after Sunday’s 3-1 bewitch over Reading that she “would possibly perhaps well no longer question to any extent additional” of Kerr on her debut.

“I am overjoyed for her,” acknowledged Hayes. “There is various expectation on her. It used to be plenty, I mediate, to delivery her at the present time. We had a virulent disease of flu, so I had no dedication.

“I appropriate requested her to push herself into the crew and conclude a job for the crew and that’s the reason what she did at the present time. She suits in so effectively to the crew.

“What a backheel. It used to be a truthful looking backheel for Beth. It’s animated to seem the pair of them together.

“She’s humble, laborious-working, honest, thoughtful and an phenomenal crew player.

“You’re going to hold top gamers, however to hold a top player who’s a top particular person – overjoyed days.”

Kerr’s arrival draw the Blues hold additional attacking suggestions in a squad containing a series of world forwards, alongside with Switzerland’s Ramona Bachmann and England’s Fran Kirby, as effectively as Sunday’s goalscorers – England, Norway’s Guro Reiten and Scotland’s Erin Cuthbert.

However requested in regards to the added competition for locations, Hayes spoke back: “It’s their scenario, it be my privilege.

“Lucky me. I’ve acquired a glut of ravishing of us to hold interaction from.”

Chelsea are subsequent in action after they host Bristol City subsequent Sunday in the WSL, sooner than a Continental League Cup quarter-final tie at dwelling to Aston Villa on Wednesday, 15 January.

BBC Sport has launched #ChangeTheGame to showcase female athletes in a approach they never were sooner than. By extra dwell women’s sport available to locate across the BBC, complemented by our journalism, we’re aiming to show up the quantity on women’s sport and alter perceptions.Uncover extra here.

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