“Let the adventure begin,” says Sonia Bompastor, now confirmed as Chelsea head coach

Following Emma Hayes’ departure, Sonia Bompastor has been confirmed as Chelsea’s new Head Coach. The 43-year-old former French international will take up her new role on July 1, having penned a four-year contract in SW6.

Bompastor has enjoyed unprecedented success with Olympique Lyonnais in the French D1 Arkema, lifting the UEFA Women’s Champions League with the club in her first full season but falling just short last Saturday in Bilbao.

Her appointment may well be one of the worst-kept secrets in women’s football history, having been identified as one of the club’s priority targets just weeks after Hayes announced her departure in the autumn.

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During her playing days, Bompastor was deployed in midfield and at left-back and was renowned for her fierce competitive traits. An ex-Lyon star recently spoke in depth about playing alongside – and under – Bompastor during her time at the club, suggesting that the Frenchwoman is ‘the type of coach you don’t mess with.’

In a club statement, Bompastor said: “I am incredibly grateful to join Chelsea Football Club as the head coach of the women’s team. It is an institution in English football. I will give my all to this new project to meet the ambitions of the club, the staff and the players. I hope to live up to Emma’s legacy and continue the work that has been done in recent years. Let the adventure begin.”

The club’s general manager, Paul Green, added that “Sonia’s vision, coaching philosophy and winning mentality made her the outstanding candidate. She is a world-class coach with a proven track record of success on the biggest stages that will instantly command respect from the dressing room.”

Bompastor will be accompanied by Camille Abily and Théo Rivrin, who formed her leadership team at Olympique Lyonnais.

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