‘No-brainer’: Kerr signs on for two more years at Chelsea

Matildas skipper Sam Kerr has extended her contract with Chelsea for a further two seasons – a decision she said was a “no-brainer” after realising how grinding through a difficult initiation at the Blues had primed her to be at her best for her country.

Kerr’s new deal will keep her at the FA Women’s Super League champions until mid-2024, ensuring she will have continuity and stability at club level for the entire lead-in to the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Sam Kerr is staying at Chelsea until at least mid-2024.

The tournament looms as a once-in-a-generation chance for an Australian team to win a major international trophy on home soil and the 28-year-old, who was crowned the WSL’s golden boot last season, is central to those hopes.

Kerr signed for Chelsea in late 2019. Since then, she has scored an incredible 50 goals in 75 games for both club and country, to cement her reputation as one of the world’s most dangerous strikers.

“At the start of being at Chelsea it was a little bit tough and there were challenges. But once I came out of that, I became better as a player,” Kerr told the Herald and The Age.

“Going into my national team, after the Olympics, I had a good Olympic tournament and I just realised that everything I had done throughout the year that Chelsea has offered me, and the coaches had done, and every little bit of work that I had done throughout the season, prepared me to be able to perform at my best at the Olympics.

Sam Kerr throws her boots into the crowd after the Matildas faced Brazil last month. She’ll be back in Sydney next week for their friendly series against the USA.Credit:Getty

“For me then it was a no-brainer. Playing for my national team is really important to me. As well as being with a great club, they [Chelsea] set you up to have a great career at your national team.”

Kerr has made a strong start to the new season, scoring six times in seven outings to be the WSL’s equal-top goalscorer. Chelsea sit second on the table, one point behind Arsenal, who they will face in the FA Cup final on December 5.

Winning the WSL golden boot last season made her the first player to win such an award across three different competitions, having also claimed it in the W-League and the US National Women’s Soccer League.

She has also been shortlisted for this year’s Ballon d’Or – for the third time in her career – and more recently was nominated for BBC’s Footballer of the Year for the fourth time.

“It’s really exciting. I’m really happy at the club. We’ve had good success, being at a club like Chelsea is an amazing opportunity,” she said.

“I can’t see myself going anywhere else in the world or leaving Europe and having what I have at Chelsea. The time was right, honestly, I didn’t feel like I wanted to rush into anything, just like signing here the first time, it just happened naturally.”

At international level, Kerr captained Australia to their best-ever finish at an Olympics in Tokyo earlier this year, but her and the team’s focus has now switched to January’s Women’s Asian Cup.

On Wednesday, she will be named in the Matildas squad for their forthcoming two-match friendly series against the United States, which begins next Saturday night in front of what is hoped to be a bumper crowd at Stadium Australia.

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The matches against the Americans, who beat them in the bronze medal play-off at Tokyo, are the last opportunities players will have to impress coach Tony Gustavsson before the Asian Cup, which kicks off on January 20 in India. Australia have been drawn in Group B alongside Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines – now coached by ex-Matildas boss Alen Stajcic.

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