Emma Hayes believes Sam Kerr 'thoroughly deserves' FWA Footballer of the Year award and points out double standards of Erling Haaland congratulations question

Sam Kerr Erling Haaland Emma Hayes split
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Sam Kerr "thoroughly deserved" to win the 2022-23 Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year award, according to Chelsea boss Emma Hayes.
  • Kerr wins second successive FWA award
  • Hayes says she was a worthy winner
  • Haaland sends his congratulations

WHAT HAPPENED? The Blues forward was named this season's winner on Friday morning, with Manchester City star Erling Haaland clinching the men's trophy. Kerr faced stiff competition from the likes of Rachel Daly, Bunny Shaw and Ona Battle for the gong, but Hayes insisted she was a worthy recipient.

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WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking before the Women's FA Cup final on Sunday, Hayes told reporters: "I’m not a big fan of the individual awards but I’m a big fan of Sam Kerr. I think anything she gets awarded is thoroughly deserving. But we could all argue that there are players up and down the country who are equally deserving of that award."

AND WHAT'S MORE: Haaland took to social media to congratulate Kerr on her award-winning season, and Hayes took exception to being quizzed about the gesture in the same press conference.

"Did Sam go and congratulate him? Because that’s the question you probably should have asked me. I don’t know. Maybe if the questions are about us congratulating male players and not the other way around, then I know we’ve made progress even in these press conferences," she added.

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Perhaps Kerr had been listening in, as after Hayes' comments she did indeed reply to Haaland's message of congratulations on Twitter.

Sam Kerr Haaland tweet

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Despite not quite managing to replicate her incredible goal tallies from previous WSL seasons, Kerr has still played a huge role in Chelsea's success this campaign. She was decisive in both of her side's games against title rivals Manchester United, netted a vital 89th-minute equaliser at the Emirates Stadium and recently grabbed a late winner in a tense clash with Liverpool.


Emma Hayes Chelsea 2022-23

Sam Kerr Chelsea 2022-23

Erling Haaland Man City 2022-23

WHAT NEXT? After missing her side's dominant WSL victory over Leicester on Wednesday night, Hayes confirmed that Kerr will be available for the Blues' FA Cup final meeting with United on Sunday. The game will be played at a sold-out Wembley Stadium for the first time ever.