It’s the FIFA women’s world cup this summer and England are one of the favourites to win the competition under the management of Phil Neville. England begin their campaign against Scotland on June 9, in a group with Argentina and Japan, the team who knocked them out of the 2015 World Cup at the semi-final stage.
This year’s tournament will be held across France and it comes after a record breaking year for women’s football around the globe. In February a new world record for a club attendance was set in Spain as Atletico Madrid welcomed 60,739 fans for the visit of Barcelona (pictured below), while Juventus packed in 39,000 for the visit of Fiorentina to break the Italian record. And the domestic record tumbled in France as well, as Lyon won the Division 1 Feminine title decider against Paris St-German in front of 25,907 fans.
There is certainly is bigger demand for women’s football around the globe and this year’s world cup is expected to be a sell-out. For the Lionesses the goal is to win the tournament whilst also inspiring a new generation of footballers. The England squad was announced this week and it wasn’t you average reveal. The players actually found out if they had secured their place or not via Twitter in the form of videos from famous faces congratulating them. To kick it all off was the Lionesses captain Steph Houghton who was told by none other than Prince William that she had her place. Other stars that had got involved were Raheem Sterling, David Beckham and Ellie Goulding respectively.
You can view the posts here https://twitter.com/Lionesses/status/1125837704535498752
Manager Phill Neville said ““We wanted each player to have a special moment when their name was revealed, knowing they are going to a World Cup, as I never did as a player.
“It is the biggest thing in their lives and something they’ve dreamed about.”
“We have to make these players visible, we want everybody around the world to buy in to what will be the biggest Women’s World Cup of all time.”
This strategy of announcing the squad on social media in that manner is very new and breaks away from traditions. But the campaign was a huge success in terms of engagement with Steph Houghton’s tweet reaching over 7,000 likes. With this strategy it’s clear that the FA are trying to ramp up the support for the team and also interest in the women’s side of the game. And as the game grows it could have a dramatic impact on the recruitment of women’s footballers as more young girls take up the game.