Star hails £2m kick-start for women's football
PUBLISHED: 16:30 21 October 2009 | UPDATED: 10:46 12 August 2010
AN INTERNATIONAL football manager who made her debut for the country as a 16-year-old has praised women s football in the county. Hope Powell, 42, hailed the women s game as she opened a new £2.7 million sports pavilion at the University of Kent s Canter
AN INTERNATIONAL football manager who made her debut for the country as a 16-year-old has praised women's football in the county.
Hope Powell, 42, hailed the women's game as she opened a new £2.7 million sports pavilion at the University of Kent's Canterbury campus.
The former Millwall Lioness, who led the national team to the European Final in August, says that top-class facilities and a proposed change in structure will benefit the female game.
Speaking last Wednesday, she said: "When I heard the word pavilion I was expecting a few huts but I am pleasantly surprised and this is truly a top facility. The community in general, including girls, will want to play and train here and it can only lead to improved standards throughout Kent.
"There are plans to make the women's game a summer league. I feel this would help it grow because it wouldn't be competing with the men's game."
Miss Powell, who won 66 caps for England, urged more girls to get involved in the game. She said: "I have always played football and I would encourage women of all ages to do the same thing. It is something you can fall in love with very easily.
"I would encourage girls to get out there and participate and people in Kent to get out and watch the likes of Millwall, Charlton and Ebbsfleet ladies to see the talent on offer before they make up their mind about the game."
The new facility was part-funded by the Football Foundation, Kent County Council, the University of Kent and other partners. It houses self-contained changing rooms with underfloor heating, a social area and viewing galleries overlooking synthetic and grass pitches.