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Euros can help women's game take its 'rightful place' in world football


By Alan Beresford

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THE recent Euros have helped women's football take its rightful place within the wider game, Buckie Ladies FC manager Mel Smith has said.

The Women's Euros will hopefully see an upsurge of girls and women taking up football.
The Women's Euros will hopefully see an upsurge of girls and women taking up football.

Host nation England won a dramatic final against Germany 2-1, claiming their first major trophy and showing their male colleagues south of the border how it's down when it comes to winning silverware.

Smith and her team know all about that winning feeling having claimed the club's first ever trophy when they vanquished Sutherland in the final of the Highlands and Islands League Cup at the beginning of July.

Buckie Ladies' manager Mel Smith, pictured here triumphantly holding the Highlands and Islands League Cup aloft, believes the Euros will help propel women;s football to its "rightful place" in the wider game. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Buckie Ladies' manager Mel Smith, pictured here triumphantly holding the Highlands and Islands League Cup aloft, believes the Euros will help propel women;s football to its "rightful place" in the wider game. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

She believed that the aftermath of the Wembley result will be felt throughout the women's game.

"It's high time that the women's game takes its rightful place in the football world and I think the Euros have done a lot to push this forward," she said.

"Remember, it's not that long ago women weren't allowed to play organised football.

"The Euros were great and, I think, a credit to football. There was amazing ability, talent and commitment on show.

"England deserved their win, they worked very hard for it and by the end of the tournament they had that air about them that said they were going to win.

"It will have a massive impact across the country and hopefully will encourage girls and women to take up the game. The last World Cup was a big one in terms of inspiring girls to say 'I can do that' and take up football and the Euros has moved that on a stage further."

Smith stressed that grassroots development was key to moving women's football forward and noted that Buckie had a system in place which is perfectly placed to reap the rewards of any groundswell of interest.

"Development has always been an essential part of what Buckie Ladies do, we have a pathway in place to take girls form primary school level right through to the first team.

"We have 70 girls training with us now every week and we've had to add an extra evening a week to accommodate everyone.

"Hopefully the Euros will inspire even more girls and women to come along."

Smith added that the Euros might also inspire women to go into the coaching side of the game – Buckie Ladies coaching team is all female unlike many other women's teams – or even simply helping out at training evenings. In the latter case, no football knowledge is necessary.

Buckie Ladies are due to resume their league campaign on Sunday, August 28 away to their cup final opponents Sutherland. For updates and other club news, follow Buckie Ladies Facebook page.


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