Chelsea sign Chapman and Flaherty from rivals Arsenal

Thursday 09 Jan 2014
New Blues: Katie Chapman (left) and Gilly Flaherty (courtesy of Chelsea FC)

Chelsea Ladies have signed England duo Katie Chapman and Gilly Flaherty from London neighbours Arsenal.

The duo won a host of honours during their time with the Gunners and they will join another former Arsenal player at Chelsea in Laura Bassett.

Midfielder Chapman has earned 82 caps for England, while Flaherty received her first senior team call-up for next week’s training camp in La Manga.

The defender, who scored the very first FA WSL goal, against Chelsea, has previously represented her country at U19, U20 and Under-23 level.

Flaherty said: 'I'm delighted to join Chelsea and am really looking forward to a new challenge.

"It was a really tough decision to leave Arsenal but getting the chance to work with Emma [Hayes, the Chelsea manager] again plus the vision here at Chelsea was just too good to turn down.

"The ambition of the club matched mine, I'm a winner and I'm determined to win trophies for the club and compete to play for England in major tournaments in the near future."

Chapman added: "I am delighted to be here and it is an exciting new chapter in my career.

"Chelsea is a massive club with a big-club mentality so it is a new challenge for me, which is exciting.

"The staff and the players are really ambitious here so for me to be part of that is something I am over the moon with."

Meanwhile, Hayes said: "Gilly is the best uncapped player in the country. In my opinion she will become a bedrock for club and country as she has all the hallmarks of a top class player.

"Katie is best at what she does in this country and I am sure any manager in the country would say the same.

"Her experience and winning mentality is what sets her apart and she is a fabulous role model too."


By Glenn Lavery