Females inspired by the England football team’s success at the Women’s World Cup are being urged to get involved in one of County FA’s Female Football programmes across Merseyside.
Female football is the fastest growing format of football in Merseyside. Liverpool County FA have over 170 female grassroots football teams across Merseyside who have teams ranging from under 7s through to adult female, playing five a side to 11 against 11 at various indoor or outdoor football facilities.
Liverpool County FA have just completed the Merseyside Game Changer which included a complete review of female football in the area including school, grassroots, recreational football and the Female Talent Pathway.
Over 350 females aged from 5 years upwards were consulted by the County FA on what changes and developments could be made to improve female football for females of all ages and abilities. The overall findings from the Game Changer highlighted that females want to be treated the same as their male counterparts and be given the same opportunities to play football, access to better playing and training facilities and increase promotion/media coverage of the female game to help change the perception of the game and increase participation rates in Merseyside.
Playing a helping hand in changing the perception of female football are the four local female players currently flying the flag for Merseyside in the Women’s World Cup in Canada – Fara Williams, Toni Duggan, Alex Greenwood and Jodie Taylor. Fara is an adopted Scouser, and has played football in Merseyside since 2004 with Everton Ladies and her current club Liverpool Ladies. Liverpool born Toni Duggan (Manchester City) and Alex Greenwood (Notts County) started their careers playing with Everton Ladies in their Centre of Excellence and they both progressed into the first team, and Jodie Taylor from Birkenhead (Portland Thorns) began playing the game with Tranmere Rovers Ladies and has played in America, Sweden and Australia.
Female Football in Merseyside has benefited from £30,000 of investment from various external funding agencies including the Football Foundation, Sport England and the People’s Postcode Trust during the 2014-15 season.
Anna Farrell, Football Development Officer for Liverpool County FA said, “Female Football is the fastest growing format of football in Merseyside and the achievements of the Lionness in Canada is only going to increase awareness and help us change perception of the game locally and nationally.
“The FA has recently launched the #WeCanPlay which aims to canvass the support of 100,000 girls and parents as part of its drive to boost participation and change the way girls/parents view the game.
“At Liverpool County FA we are working tirelessly to ensure that we cater for the needs and wants of our female community and ensure that we offer football for players of all ages, abilities, races, religions and disabilities.”
Councillor Tim Moore, Mayoral Lead for Sport, said: “The success of the England Lionesses at the World Cup could prove key to changing the perception of football and get the message across that it is a sport for both women and men.
“It is fantastic that we have such a strong local contingent in the national squad and that is a reflection of our work with the FA to create fantastic facilities, which are used by leagues with players of all ages and abilities.”