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Chelsea appoints Sonia Bompastor as new head coach following Emma Hayes’ departure

LONDON (AP) — Women’s Super League champion Chelsea has named Sonia Bompastor as its new head coach, signing her on a four-year deal.

Replacing Emma Hayes, Bompastor, 43, takes the reins after Hayes guided the team to 14 major trophies, including a fifth consecutive league title last season. Hayes has now moved on to become the coach of the U.S. women’s soccer team.

Bompastor, who achieved seven trophies during her three years as Lyon manager, will officially start her new role on July 1.

“I am incredibly honored to be joining Chelsea Football Club as the head coach of the women’s team. It is a legendary institution in English football,” said the former France international.

“I aim to continue the incredible legacy left by Emma and build on the progress made in recent years. Let the journey begin.”

Bompastor’s final match in charge of Lyon was a 2-0 loss to Barcelona in the Women’s Champions League final. Lyon had been aiming for a record ninth European title.

As a player, Bompastor earned 156 caps for the French national team, serving as captain for two years. She secured league titles with Lyon in 2007 and 2008, as well as the Coupe de France in her second season. Bompastor also won back-to-back Champions League titles in 2011 and 2012 during her second stint at Lyon before retiring in 2013.

Chelsea also unveiled plans for the “strategic growth” of its women’s team, positioning it alongside the men’s team rather than below it. The club stated that the women’s team will now have dedicated resources, management, and commercial leadership, solely focused on their growth and success.

AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

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