Manchester United manager Casey Stoney is full of praise for her Chelsea counterpart before table-topping WSL clash

During the days when Casey Stoney played for Chelsea, little luxuries were not so much thin on the ground as nonexistent. “You couldn’t get anything, not even a tracksuit from the club back then,” recalls Manchester United’s manager. “But everything’s changed and that’s thanks to Emma Hayes.”

Stoney left Chelsea in 2011, the year before Hayes took transformative charge. At that time considerable scepticism still surrounded female coaches, yet nine years on her enviable trophy haul has helped reshape the topography of the now professional elite women’s game. Not to mention serving as a rebuke to its once almost default misogyny. This season an unprecedented eight of the 12 Women’s Super League managers are female.

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