Hayes wants Bristol Academy women to ‘own identity’

(SportsNetwork.com) – English women’s soccer coach Emma Hayes hopes to bring her passion for equality into women’s football by offering a “spirit of responsibility” to their players.

Hayes, who won the FA Women’s Cup with Charlton Athletic last season, helped guide Bristol Academy to the play-offs last year before making a similar run at Sky Bet Women’s Super League 1 the following season.

Now Hayes hopes to cap her third season at Bristol Academy by winning promotion to the top flight of women’s football.

Hayes says the women’s game has no room for players who hide their identity or hold back.

“Because we are in the same bracket as the boys, I never ask ‘Do you want to play with boys or girls?’,” she said. “I am not going to need to, and that is my personality and what you are supposed to do. You can’t hide the identity of who you are.

“We need role models who will be the most obvious in the game, and if they do speak openly that is fantastic. If not, let them just find the players who have a willingness to share everything about themselves with people.”

Hayes is considering whether or not to appoint an assistant coach during the club’s promotion push, as some first-team regulars are reluctant to cede playing time.

“We have talked about it but there are a few players who have been playing a lot more minutes than others and I would always rather have depth of player so that if they are not playing as well, someone else has got to step in,” Hayes said.

“The players who are getting minutes are actually playing the best football of their lives, so what are they hiding from? You won’t win any games with your players playing like that.”

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