EMMA HAYES aims to leave Chelsea in a blaze of glory when she ends her trophy-laden 12-year spell in charge next year.
And the head coach believes more must be done to help those juggling intensely busy careers in football with parenting.
Hayes was speaking yesterday, seven days after Chelsea's announcement of her planned departure as women's team boss at the end of this season.
The Blues gaffer is reportedly close to becoming the United States Women’s national team manager’s role with the post currently vacant.
Hayes, whose side visits Everton tomorrow, said: "I’ve taken this team to the top and I always said I wanted to leave at the top.
"I would struggle going backwards at any point or out-staying my welcome.
"It’s not actually an easy thing to do to leave at the top with a world-class team, but I always made the promise to myself that I would do that.
Of her impending departure Hayes added: "It’s always a day I never really wanted to see come but I feel like I have to put myself first.
"You dedicate so many hours to this job – not just the drive – I’ve given it everything I can. I’ve had to evaluate that and factor in.
"Anything I’m going to do, I want to do it well but maybe it’s about just having something different more than anything else.”
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While Hayes did not comment on the USA Women’s head coach role, she admits overseeing a national side is a prospect she has envisaged.
The Blues chief added: "As a little girl I always thought maybe one day that would come.
"I think I’m just at the point where I have to consider something else."
Earlier this week reports claimed Chelsea had faltered in attempts to secure a new deal with Hayes who has led their women’s side to 13 major trophies including six WSL titles.
However she described the media speculation about her talks with the club as disappointing.
She added: "I believe in private conversations. Of course I’m disappointed to hear things are being said in the press.
"I want to make sure I maintain my own professionalism in everything I do.
"I have a team to focus on, games to win and I don’t think anything will come between me and the players, and me and the fans.
"This is my club and it will always be my club."
A better work-life balance and spending more time with her son Harry were among the factors that influenced Hayes’ departure decision
She said: "When you coach at an elite level and you have to perform at an elite level, and you have the standards and expectations that I have, anything less than the best is not acceptable.
"Maintaining that, on a daily grind, is a lot. It takes a lot of work.
"It is important that I’m a Mum and not many football managers sit up here and talk about that in the same way.
"My little boy has been extraordinary to allow me to do this, but it’s challenging for him.
"It’s difficult and I think there’s still a lot of work to be done in the women’s game for people with children. We have lives..
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“This is not a selfish decision, this is a selfless decision.
"This is about putting first some other things in my life and I’m ready for that."
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