Morecambe Ladies’ manager is hoping grassroots women’s football can reap the rewards of England’s high-profile World Cup campaign.
Nick Barrett, coach of The Shrimpettes who finished 10th in the Women’s Premier League Northern Division One last season, has watched on with interest as Mark Sampson’s side have reached the semi-finals in Canada.
England beat the hosts on Saturday and next face holders Japan at midnight on Wednesday night into Thursday morning.
Barrett, the sports centre manager at Lancaster & Morecambe College said: “I’m enjoying the tournament.
“The first game I watched we lost to France and I thought I hope there’s people who aren’t reading too much into this.
“At the start I thought we looked slow and tentative and I think the first few games of the tournament, bar Germany beating Ivory Coast 10-0, were a bit poor.
“I didn’t think it reflected well on women’s football but you watch England now and you can see how they’ve progressed.
“The tournament’s reaching a climax and we can make the final.
“It’s getting exciting.”
The Shrimps boss hopes the added interest will filter down to the lower levels.
Barrett said: “It’s in events like this that you hope the England team will do well.
“Anything that’s building the profile up is good for everyone.
“There’s a lot of money coming into the game with increased TV money so let’s hope it filters down and the interest is there.
“Let’s hope the women do get to the final and put on a good show.
“I’ve had one or two people come up to me and say ‘my girls have been watching it and are on about coming down’.”
Morecambe Ladies return to pre-season training tomorrow night, Wednesday, July 1, with new players invited to attend.
Barrett is hoping there will be some new faces on the back of England’s World Cup success.
He said: “We only finished five weeks ago so it hasn’t given us much rest.
“I’ve been organising friendlies and the like for the last few weeks, I’m trying to sort out kit and doing this, that and the other.
“It’s a frantic time and it seems like there’s never a break these days.
“I’m hoping some people have watched the World Cup and come along.
“You’d think the quality would have come through anyway but even if it supplements the reserve team and other players can push on then that’s great.
“We’ve got a lot to offer here. A good set-up, great training facilities and we’re playing at a good level playing the likes of Newcastle, Leeds, Sheffield United and Middlesbrough.”
Training on Wednesday night runs from 7pm to 9pm.
Anyone requiring more information can visit the club website www.morecambeladiesfc.co.uk, contact the club on Facebook by searching Morecambe Ladies Football Club, on Twitter @MorecambeLadies or by calling Nick on 078142 76448.