Chelsea Women: Sam Kerr – Australia’s Sensational Superstar

Image Credit: Chelsea FC Women via Getty Images.

Sam Kerr

  • Name: Samantha May Kerr
  • Date of Birth: 10th September 1993 (Age 27)
  • Place of Birth: East Fremantle, West Australia
  • Height: 1.67m (5ft 5′)
  • Playing Position(s): Forward

Sam Kerr – Club Career

Sam Kerr’s first club, at the age of 12 was Western Knights, based in Mosman Park just three miles from her home in East Fremantle. Within three years, Sam had attended trials for Western Australia’s state team and then moved across to Perth Glory, the state’s sole W League side. Making her debut at the age of 15, Sam Kerr was named as the league’s Player’s Player of the Year in 2009 – an incredible statistic.

Her stay at the Glory lasted until 2012 when she joined Sydney FC. Thirteen goals in twenty-four games was her return. In the same period, due to the way the Australian and American seasons are scheduled, Kerr
played for Western New York Flash for the first NWSL season in 2013 and made it all the way to the Grand Final where they lost to Portland Thorns.

Sam Kerr in action for the Glory. Image Credit: Daniel Carson/Getty Images.

She returned to home club Perth Glory who she represented in the W League side from 2014-19 in between spells in America. Back in the purple, white and orange of her local senior side, Kerr led the Glory to two W League Grand Finals and won the Julie Dolan Medal as the best player in the W League twice. Sam Kerr was in incredible form for the Western Australians, scoring a total of 52 goals in 49 games.

In this period the star from East Fremantle spent two seasons with Sky Blue FC in the NWSL and in 2017, at the age of just 23 became the all-time top scorer in NWSL history. The same season saw her winning the NWSL Golden Boot and Most Valuable Player Award. Kerr spent the 2018 and 2019 NWSL seasons with Chicago Red Stars, for whom she played in the Championship game. Her American adventure ended with the honour of being the first player to be named as the NWSL’s Most Valuable Player twice, and top scorer three times.

Chelsea Career

In November 2019, to great media fanfare, Kerr announced that she would join Chelsea in the FA Women’s Super League, and she made her debut in January 2020 and was part of the team who won the Continental Cup and FAWSL title. Her first goal came in the Blues’ 4-1 win at Arsenal with a header. Earlier this season, Kerr was subjected to vicious online abuse – her “crime” was apparently not scoring enough goals. Sam Kerr has always been far more than just a goal scorer.

To emphasise this, it’s only really in the last couple of years that the Western Australian has become a prolific scorer for the Australian national side, in the Matildas. In her first forty-nine caps for her country, Kerr had only scored eight goals. Her partnership with Lisa de Vanna for Australia pre-2019 was one which saw Sam in the role of a link-up player – one who worked incredibly hard and created chances aplenty for her teammates. Something very similar to how Kerr began with Emma Hayes’ Blues. When de Vanna moved out of the Matildas side, Sam’s role changed and the goals came.

In the Chelsea side, Kerr built up a great early understanding with Beth England before the Lionesses star had a summer operation and missed much of the early season. Sam is now building up a relationship with new team-mate Pernille Harder and Fran Kirby, who was not able to play when Kerr joined the club in January. The Australian has already scored three goals this season in six FAWSL games at the time of writing, more than a decent return.

Sam Kerr scored in the opening day WSL draw against Manchester United in 2020. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Chelsea and the FAWSL, in general, have a gem in their ranks – once the new Chelsea side gel, the English fans will begin to see Kerr’s explosive pace and incredible aerial power that those of us who have watched Sam’s career from her teenage days love so much.

Sam Kerr: International Career

Kerr represented Australia an U17 and U20 level before making her senior debut for the Matildas at the age of 15 in February 2009 against Italy. A year later, she scored a goal in the AFC Asian Women’s Cup Final in North Korea when Australia lifted the trophy.

Sam Kerr celebrates scoring for Australia.
Sam Kerr celebrates scoring for the Matildas. Image Credit: Nike.

Aged 17, Sam was selected in Australia’s 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup squad. Four years later, she was an integral part of the Matildas squad who made the Quarter-Finals of the tournament in Canada. For the 2019 World Cup in France, Kerr was named captain and scored five goals in Australia’s four matches. She has presently scored in the last four successive games for her country and has a total of 42 goals to go with her 88 caps.

Background and Personal Life

Sam grew up in East Fremantle, just up the Swan River from the Western Australia state capital Perth. She comes from a sporting background with her grandfather being a featherweight boxer and a grandmother who played basketball. Her father played professional Australian Rules Football and also soccer in the Western Australia state league. Sam also has uncles who played the round ball game and others that were jockeys – one – J.J. Miller was a champion jockey and won the Melbourne Cup in 1966, Australia’s most
prestigious horse race.

Sam Kerr and Daniel Kerr.
Sam Kerr with her brother Daniel. Image Credit: AAP

Her brother Daniel was a star Australian Rules Footballer for West Coast Eagles where he won a Grand Final in front of 97,400 fans at the MCG in 2006 having been a runner-up in the previous year’s title decider. Due to the domination of the sporting scene in Western Australia by Australian Rules Football, it is perhaps no surprise that Sam grew up playing that sport and only switched to soccer at the age of 12 partly due to
restrictions for girls playing Aussie Rules at that time.

Indeed, Sam famously told the Perth media in 2015 that for her as a youngster: “It was all AFL (Aussie Rules). I hated soccer as a kid. I never had a soccer ball around the house.” Sam’s partner is the American Nikki
Stanton, who she played with at Perth Glory, Sky Blue FC and Chicago Red Stars. Stanton is presently playing in Norway with Klepp IL.

Player Strengths

  • Outstanding vision
  • Good team-player
  • Electric pace
  • Heading ability
  • Deadly finishing

Sam Kerr: Honours

Sydney FC:

  • W-League Championship: 2012–13

Western New York Flash:

  • NWSL Shield: 2013

Perth Glory:

  • W-League Premiership: 2014

Chelsea:

  • Barclays FA Women’s Super League: 2019–20
  • FA Women’s League Cup: 2019–20
  • FA Women’s Community Shield: 2020

Australia:

  • AFC Women’s Asian Cup: 2010
  • AFF U-16 Women’s Championship: 2009

Individual:

  • FFA Female U20 Footballer of the Year: 2010, 2014
  • PFA Women’s Footballer of the Year: 2013, 2017, 2018, 2019
  • Julie Dolan Medal: 2016–17, 2017-18.
  • W-League Golden Boot: 2017–18, 2018–19
  • Football Media Association International Player of the Year: 2013, 2014
  • NWSL Player of the Week: 2013: Week 9, 2016: Week 18, 2017: Weeks 9, 12 & 17. 2018: Weeks 15 & 22
  • NWSL Player of the Month: 2017: May and June
  • Nation Women Soccer League Golden Boot Award: 2017, 2018, 2019
  • NWSL Most Valuable Player Award: 2017 & 2019
  • National Women Soccer League Best XI: 2017, 2018, 2019
  • Asian Women’s Footballer of the Year: 2017
  • ABC Sport Personality of the Year: 2017
  • Young Australian of the Year: 2018
  • ESPY Awards Best International Women’s Soccer Player: 2018 & 2019
  • The 100 Best Female Footballers In The World Winner: 2019
Sam Kerr with her 2018 ESPY award. Image Credit: AAP.

Records:

  • Most goals in the NWSL: 77
  • Most goals in an NWSL match: 4
  • Total Goals in NWSL season: 18
  • All-time W-League scorer: 69
  • Most goals in a W-League season: 16

Other Chelsea Women Profiles

Written by Ben Gilby (@BenGilby1)

Check out more of Ben’s writing at @ImpetusFootball and on their website.

Edited by Rob Pratley


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