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What next for women’s football?
What next for women’s football?

After we all enjoyed the magnificent achievement of the England Lionesses in winning Euro 2022, our chief football writer Mike Green asks what’s next for the next generation?

Kent’s very own Alessia Russo and the incomparable Millie Bright are just a few of England’s new role models, but are the authorities doing enough?

These are Mike’s own views and do not necessarily represent those of KSN…


Doesn’t it sound good?

Been too long saying that for the game that we all love, but after the amazing success of the Lionesses against the Germans et al, the administrators of football are at a crossroads when it comes to women’s and particularly girls’ football.

Let me start by asking you a question – how many boys clubs can you name in your own area and how many of them run girls teams?

For too long, girls and women’s football has been frowned on in this country – but it’s not just the current generation – did you know for example on the day that Bobby Moore lifted the Jules Rimet Trophy in July 1966, women’s football was banned in this country?

And that’s partly what makes the current position so frustrating and annoying in that in 2022, there are still local youth clubs who have been around for years and years and years who have still have not got a girls or women’s team.

The thing is that there are clubs around the County and around the country who have been supporting and helping the grassroots girls and women’s games along and every single one of those clubs MUST be congratulated and thanked for their incredible efforts.

These clubs that have are thriving and flourishing beyond measure – indeed I know of one grassroots club that has nearly eighty teams carrying the club colours with three or more teams playing at the same venue each week. Whilst it’s terrific that that interest is there, wouldn’t the game itself be better if there were more teams representing a wider array of communities not just here in Kent, but around the country as a whole?

I know that it takes a hell of a lot of free time to start these new teams up and get them going, but why should the triumph of the Lionesses potentially create more of a monopoly that it has already?

There will be those who say, “hang on a minute, we’ve done remarkable things to provide the girls who want to play avenues to play” and I’d say bravo well done. But too many of these clubs are the bigger clubs who hope that they could find the next Leah Williamson or Beth Mead, but what about the girls who, like their brothers perhaps, just want to play with their mates and aren’t bothered about playing for a “bigger” club?

There simply aren’t enough clubs willing to get involved in the schools at the very grassroots and the future of girl’s football.

My daughters have both played in the Kent Girls and Ladies League at different age groups and it truly does an amazing job. But why should we have to leave home at a ridiculous time on a Sunday morning in Medway for a 10.00am kick off in New Romney, or a 10.30am in Tunbridge Wells or even an 11.00am in Bexley?

How many registered “youth” football clubs do we go past every week that still don’t cater for girls’ football?

Honest answer is far too many… and how many of the youngsters – and more importantly “Mum and Dads taxi” – will eventually get fed up with all the training and interest wanes and be lost to the game that we do all love?

There has been a lot of back slapping for the Euros that finished on Sunday – yes it was a terrific few weeks (not just because Football Came Home) and it’s been truly amazing to see so many young faces back watching our national games with their parents.

But now is the time for real grassroots – county FA’s, local league and even
schools – to actually get together and plan for the next generation Lionesses – I for one don’t want to want another half a century for the elation that we all felt around 7.30pm on Sunday July 31st , 2022.

Rome wasn’t built in a day – hopefully, it’ll be quicker than fifty-six years…