Image copyright AFP Image caption Emma Hayes is from Reading, but played for Chelsea Ladies
Emma Hayes, one of England’s best female coaches, wants to see more female goalkeepers in the women’s game.
The Chelsea Ladies head coach said there is still “an inferiority complex” for goalkeepers in the game.
“There is a lot of merit in a female goalkeeper playing more,” Hayes said at Fifa’s Women’s World Cup Russia 2019 coaching event in Moscow.
“I’ll push for that in my job in coaching.”
Hayes is from Reading but played for Chelsea Ladies for three years before joining Bristol Academy in 2013.
The 36-year-old was named Fifa Women’s Coach of the Year for the second year running in 2016.
At the event at Red Square she was talking to Fifa’s technical director Holly Webb, who admitted there is a “lack of girls with passion for football”.
Her message for girls in particular was simple: “Fifa’s creating a programme called Girls Power.
“Fifa wants girls to have access to all the different experience, coaching and training. Fifa’s there to show you it’s an incredible and valuable thing to be involved in.
“Fifa’s here to create a positive, accessible experience.”
Fifa’s director of competitions Amuzinho Abebe has suggested the governing body could “work with” European women’s federations to create opportunities for more young players.
Image copyright AFP Image caption Chelsea won their first major trophy as a club last year
Some leading women’s footballers, including Manchester City’s Jesper Blomqvist, have welcomed the move.
Blomqvist, who played in a training camp in Spain with the English and Spanish women’s teams, said: “This is great news for young girls, so much thought and work has gone into this.
“I believe Fifa and the EFL will be partners to make this happen, and it will inspire girls to get involved in the game.
“It is such a powerful experience. The best way to play is to train.
“To have such opportunities so close to home is something to be proud of and recognise.
“There are also coaching seminars you can attend in Spain. Something like this will encourage young girls to do more.”