Sam Kerr at Stamford Bridge after signing for Chelsea.
Sam Kerr at Stamford Bridge after signing for Chelsea.

‘I can’t wait’: Sam Kerr relishing Chelsea debut

AUSSIE sports megastar Sam Kerr will begin the exciting new chapter of her illustrious career on Sunday night (10.30pm AEST) when she makes her much-hyped debut for English giants Chelsea.

Women's coaching trailblazer Arsenal boss Joe Montemurro declared Kerr's move to the English Women's Super League a watershed moment for Australian football.

Just a week after arriving at Chelsea and seven weeks on from announcing the lucrative $2 million-plus contract, Kerr, 26, will be unveiled as the third-place Blues try to catch leaders Arsenal and Manchester City.

Kerr, who signed a two-and-a-half year deal, revealed that she was thrilled ahead of her home debut against Reading.

"I'm really excited. Can't wait to run on to the pitch in Chelsea blue and start scoring some goals," Kerr said.

With Kerr having scored 38 goals in 83 senior internationals, her timing is impeccable from a Matildas viewpoint  ahead of their decisive Tokyo 2020 qualifiers, which  start in February.

Melbourne City's inaugural W-League title-winner Montemurro, an Australian who attracted global attention after his impressive title win for the Gunners, said Europe was the pinnacle.

In a potential title-deciding clash, Chelsea and Arsenal clash on January 20.

"First of all, it's great that we're starting to get our top players recognised in the top European leagues and at the top clubs. It's really important for the message it sends from a development point of view," Montemurro said.

"We need a lot of our players playing in the top clubs, exposed to the pressure, the big game scenario and exposed to the realities of what is football at the top level.

The Matildas skipper is reportedly on a deal worth close to $1 million a season.
The Matildas skipper is reportedly on a deal worth close to $1 million a season.

"I don't know how she's going to go on a day-to-day basis, but let's hope it is successful, both from a playing perspective - although not too much, because she is playing for the nemesis now  -  from what message it seems from a development point of view of our players."

While Kerr has been the bona fide superstar on the Perth Glory and Chicago Red Stars team sheets in recent years, en route to winning regular player of the year and golden boot gongs, the Chelsea change room is filled with superstars.

England stars Fran Kirby and Millie Bright, South Korean Ji So-yun and Sweden skipper Magdalena Eriksson are among the big names, but Kerr's been welcomed with open arms.

"Sam has settled in nicely. It is really cold but she had a chance to acclimatise by stopping over in Seattle on her way to London," Kerr's agent Niki White said.

"Everyone has been really nice and no one has stolen her lunch box."