Blackpool FC Ladies team hoping for knock-on effect from England's Euro 2022 triumph

England’s Euro 2022 triumph could have a transformational knock-on effect for women’s football for generations to come.

Monday, 1st August 2022, 3:19 pm
Updated Monday, 1st August 2022, 3:44 pm

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That’s the hope of Mike Healey, who is a coach and committee member of Blackpool FC Girls and Ladies.

The Seasiders are on the lookout for new players and it’s hoped the Lionesses’ victory at Wembley will encourage young girls to put their boots on and play.

Healey told The Gazette: “It’s a fantastic moment for girls and ladies football and football in general. The country got a bit of an uplift as well, didn’t it?

“There should be a knock-on effect and it’s up to everyone to keep the momentum going and push it.

“Any young girl watching the final who now wants to get involved should be given the opportunity to do that no matter where they are in the country.

“It’s a bit like when you’re a kid and watching any of the World Cups, you go outside straight after the match and you’ll be copying certain players. It’s just that buzz.

England beat Germany at Wembley on Sunday to lift the Euro 2022 trophy

“Some of the young girls watching that match will have gone out thinking they were Keira Walsh, Ella Toone or whoever. It’s just great.”

Blackpool boast teams from Under-8 level to Under 16s, while there’s also a development side and a first-team, who play their football in the sixth tier.

Open sessions will be held soon and anyone interested in attending is urged to complete an online form – which can be found here.

“At Blackpool we’ve got a lot of teams, right from the young groups to the Ladies team and we’re always looking for new players. We’re certainly looking for players in the older groups at the moment,” Healey said.

“If we have more teams we’ll need more coaches, more pitches, more physios and so on. There’s a snowball effect. If anyone out there would be willing to offer their help, it would be fantastic.

“We have a lot of interest for the younger groups, but it’s the older teams where we need more players because we tend to lose players when they go off to university.”

While there’s still plenty of work to be done to get women’s football to where it needs to be, there’s an excitement and buzz among people within the game at the sport’s potential.

“I’ve been involved in girls’ and women’s football for 20 seasons, so I remember when the Euros were here in 2005 when they actually played at Bloomfield Road,” Healey said.

“The German team of the day even trained at the YMCA in Lytham, so how times have changed!

“Now they’re all professional players and that showed on Sunday. That would be the dream for ladies football, that a player can make a career out of playing football like the lads do.

“The personal dream would be to see every League club in the country to have a professional Ladies team. How fantastic would that be?

“There are girls watching football, there are boys watching football. They’re all wearing Blackpool shirts.

“I just hope the powers-that-be in the game don’t sit on their laurels and push it as far as they can.”

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