Former Arsenal star Katie Chapman praised by leading coach after Chelsea move

By Dev Trehan.   Last Updated: 14/01/14 6:43pm

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Keith Boanas: Katie Chapman a consummate professional

Keith Boanas: Katie Chapman a consummate professional

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Katie Chapman has been backed to make a huge impact for Chelsea Ladies by one of the most senior English coaches in women's football.

The 31-year-old, who has previously turned out for London sides Milwall, Fulham and Charlton, joined Gilly Flaherty in making the move from Arsenal to Women's Super League rivals Chelsea last week.

Few know mum-of-three Chapman better than her former Charlton manager Keith Boanas, now the manager of the women's national side in Estonia.

Chelsea finished one from bottom in the FAWSL last season, but Boanas believes signings such as Chapman, Flaherty and former Birmingham City duo Laura Basset and Rachel Williams, could turn them into potential title contenders.

"Katie was always the consummate professional in her attitude to training and matchplay - A 100% giver at all times and one of the best signings (for Charlton) I ever made," Boanas told skysports.com.

"Her professionalism speaks for itself. She absolutely adores her three sons but also loves the game with a passion. She made the comeback (from giving birth) each time and is a great role model to female players who feel a family affects the level you can play at.

"She will undoubtedly bring a strength and a winning mentality to Chelsea along with her years of experience.

"She absolutely hates losing, and similar to Roy Keane, she will not suffer fools in terms of players not matching her level of commitment.

"Unquestionably it's a super signing for Chelsea and one that along with their other good signings they've made should see them right up there and challenging."

Chapman has played 82 times for England but has not played for her country since falling out with then England manager Hope Powell in 2011.

Boanas, one of the few English coaches to hold the UEFA Pro Licence, believes the midfielder still has much to offer her country, insisting Chapman is worthy of winning a century of England caps.

"I still think she can do a job for her country and there is no doubt that she is worthy of becoming an England centurion," the 54-year-old said. "She will never lose that tenacity and drive and I'm sure she has maintained her fitness levels.

"I know she would dearly love to get there but the question will be whether a young manager like Mark Sampson sees her as an option or will he go more with young talent."

Chapman confirmed she would welcome a return to the international fold when she spoke to skysports.com after signing for Chelsea last week.

"First and foremost I'd like to get here and prove myself at Chelsea," she said. "I want to be a big part in moving this club forward and then hopefully the England stuff will roll off from there - we'll just wait and see.

"To have the opportunity to win 100 caps for my country would be great. Hopefully I can have the opportunity to do that but in the meantime I'll be here at Chelsea and doing my best to win some things."

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