Emma Hayes Joins Sky Blue FC Staff

Hayes brings additional WPS head coaching experience to Sky Blue FC (Photo by Howard C. Smith, ISI Photos).
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WPS Veteran to Assist Head Coach Jim Gabarra in 2012

As the team prepares for its fourth year of play, Sky Blue FC of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) officially announced on Monday that it has added Emma Hayes to its coaching staff. Hayes, who brings valuable experience to Sky Blue FC on both the coaching and technical side of soccer operations, now joins the bench as an assistant to head coach Jim Gabarra as he begins to assemble his roster for the 2012 season.

“Adding Emma to our staff presents an opportunity to not only improve the technical side of our club, but it also gives us additional coaching experience at the WPS level,” Gabarra commented. “In our current environment, it is great to have someone who has her proven history in signing players. Emma did a very good job of assembling Western New York’s roster last year in a fiscally responsible manner, and she will give us twice the resources for building our roster in 2012. She also brings valuable opinions on both the technical and coaching fronts, and she will really help us push the envelope to make sure we have the most competitive team possible next season.”

Currently a resident of London, Hayes was the inaugural head coach of the Chicago Red Stars beginning in 2009, serving with the team over the better of two seasons. After her time in Chicago, she became the Technical Director of the eventual WPS champion Western New York Flash prior to the start of the 2011 season.

“I'm delighted to join an established WPS club with a great reputation in world soccer,” Hayes said of coming aboard Sky Blue FC. “I hope to bring success to the team, and Jim and I will work closely to deliver that. Plus, I get to come back to a region where I spent six years of my life, so it feels like I'm coming home.”

Prior to the launch of WPS, Hayes was the First Team Assistant Coach and Academy Director of the London-based Arsenal Ladies Football Club of the Women’s Premier League from 2006-08. Before joining the Arsenal staff, the English native served as the head coach of the women’s soccer program of Iona College in New York, guiding the Gaels to back-to-back Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Championships from 2004-05 and securing MAAC Coach of the Year accolades in 2004. Hayes began her coaching career in 2001 when she took over the Long Island Rough Riders of the USL W-League, remaining with the team for three seasons and winning Coach of the Year honors in 2002.

"I am excited to have Emma Hayes as part of our organization,” Sky Blue FC President Thomas Hofstetter stated. “She is a known force with many years of experience in professional women's soccer. Under the guidance of our head coach Jim Gabarra, she will help us to put together a winning team for another exciting WPS season in 2012."

Sky Blue FC General Manager Gioia DiFlumeri also voiced her pleasure in having Hayes join the team.

“Emma will be a great addition to our coaching staff,” she remarked. “She brings technical and coaching experience at virtually every level of the women’s game, and I know she will quickly have an impact for us both with our roster and on the field.”

With Hayes now on staff, Gabarra appears to have his bench ready for the upcoming season. Rick Stainton and Brett Sarsfield also plan to return to the team in 2012, but both will have somewhat limited roles due to current positions they hold on the coaching staffs at Seton Hall University and Saint Peters College, respectively.

2012 Sky Blue FC season and flex tickets are currently on sale now, beginning at less than $100. Fans who are interested in purchasing can do so today by calling the team at 888-SBFC-TIX.

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