Reiten relishing another game of chess against Arsenal

Guro Reiten

Winning nine trophies in her five-year spell at Chelsea, Reiten is a serial winner, and she attributes much of her success to the guiding principles instilled by Hayes.

As Hayes prepares to depart for USA next year, Reiten reflects on their time together, acknowledging her significant role in her development into one of the top talents in the BWSL, ahead of the Blues facing Arsenal in the 2023-24 FA Women’s Continental Tyres League Cup Final on Sunday.

“Emma has meant a lot to me, as a person and as a footballer,” she explains. “She’s honest, she can be brutal, but she will tell you the truth, and how you deal with that, it’s up to you.

“Time flies so you know, I’ve been here five years and I don’t know where the time has gone, because it feels like yesterday that I came here.

“I’ve gotten better at everything over this time. The intensity of the league and women’s football has been growing so much. Every single player needs to be faster, stronger and better. So I’ve changed in a lot of ways.”

Having won the Norweigan league Toppserien back-to-back with LSK Kvinner before joining Chelsea, and the Blues having won the league every year so far she has been at the club, Reiten is no stranger to success.

However, despite her winning pedigree, last year’s 3-1 Conti Cup Final defeat remains etched in her memory for all the wrong reasons.

“The memory that sticks out is last year’s Final because we lost. We want to change that; we always want to win and we always want to lift trophies. This is our first chance this season and we’re very excited about it.”

Guro Reiten, Millie Bright and Sam Kerr look on after losing the 2022-23 Conti Cup final against Arsenal

Guro Reiten, Millie Bright and Sam Kerr look on after losing the 2022-23 Conti Cup final against Arsenal

With the opposition being Arsenal, the stakes are intensified for Reiten and her team-mates. She acknowledges the thrill of facing their London rivals.

“All of us love playing them, and I think they love playing us. It’s the rivalry. It’s the best feeling when you win, and the worst when you lose. So everyone’s going to be fighting to end up on the winning side.”

Celebrating passionately after their recent 3-1 win against the Gunners at Stamford Bridge, Reiten expresses her love for big games: “You have to celebrate every win. We can’t take anything for granted. We know how tight it is with so many good teams in the league, the cups, everything.

“Every win is important. I mean, it’s Arsenal, it’s always going to mean a bit more. But that was a great night and probably one of the best nights I’ve had at Stamford Bridge because the atmosphere was unreal. I loved every second of that game.

“I am going to use it as motivation. It’s hard when you play a team and then a few weeks later, you’re going to play them again.

“It’s a game of chess, you’re going to try and change something, they’re going to change something. But you never know what’s going to happen. It’s going to be a tight, intense game. That’s for sure.”

Tickets for Sunday’s 2023-24 FA Women’s Continental Tyres League Cup Final at Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Molineux Stadium are still available here, with adult tickets from £15, concessions for £7 and kids for £5.

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