KADEISHA BUCHANAN is relishing being pushed “to the max” by Emma Hayes following her June switch to Chelsea from Lyon.
And the Blues centre-back says watching Premier League action was part and parcel of family life for herself and her 11 siblings.
Buchanan, 26, was speaking to reporters before the WSL champions’ first duel of the season with Manchester City.
The title rivals fell to unexpected losses to Liverpool and Aston Villa during enthralling season-openers away last Sunday.
And Buchanan – who helped her former club to six top-flight title wins in France – reckons the competitive edge of England’s top tier was among the factors that influenced her move.
The Chelsea star said: “You can’t take a team for granted.
“You can’t just be relaxed and complacent, so you have to work hard every game, every day.
“You have to earn it, every single game, it’s not going to be given to you and that’s why it’s so competitive. I love that about the WSL.
On how Blues chief Hayes influenced her decision to move to the club, Buchanan added: “It was the perfect moment.
“It was definitely a mutual agreement. I felt it was the right time
“The conversation was like ‘welcome, but I’m going to push you to the max.’
“Emma is already on to me about how I can improve and the ways I can.
“I love that in a coach – when whatever is needed – they will say it and they are not afraid to do so.
“I’m definitely not in my comfort zone here. I feel like every day I’m learning something new.
“It’s just the little details now that they’re bringing out.
“They really watch the training every day here and there is a lot of staff to help with our games, so that’s a big part.
Buchanan, who has made 123 senior international appearances for Canada, says football is part of family life for herself and her relatives.
Her father, who like her mother was born in Jamaica, is an avid Prem follower.
The defender, who helped Canada to a Tokyo Olympics gold medal win last August said: “Football isn’t as big a sport (in Canada).
“But having a Jamaican father who loves the English Premier League, we would all wake up at 7:00 am to watch the games there.
“My dad supports Manchester United, but I’m an all-rounder fan. I just love to watch football.
When asked whether her family enjoyed playing the game as well as watching, Buchanan added: “Out of 11 siblings I think about four or five of us played.
“My older brother played, my father played, and my mum also played later on when she got into it,
“Taking us to soccer every day she was like ‘ah, let me get in there too’, so she started playing.
“We’re a football family and a very athletic one, a couple of my sisters did track, and basketball. We’re an all-round sporting family.”
Buchanan, who began her senior playing career in 2005, made her move to Europe in 2017 joining Lyon.
The defender’s five-year spell at the club saw her help the French side lift five of the eight Champions League trophies they have won between 2010 and this year.
Claiming the prize for top clubs in Europe is among the targets for Chelsea with the team having won six WSL titles since 2015.
And Buchanan believes the Blues, who fell to a narrow Champions League semis defeat to Lyon in 2019, have what it takes to triumph in the competition.
The Canada centre-back added: “We are not far off.
“When I see Chelsea play and when they’re at their best, they’re the best team. It’s just about getting that consistency.”