Football clubs in Cumbria see huge uptake in girls joining as Lionesses get to Euros Final

29.07.22 girls playing football itv news border
Gillford Park now have several girls teams as so many people have signed up. Credit: ITV News Border

It's just two days until the Lionesses walk onto the pitch at Wembley, with a 90,000 strong crowd behind them.

England made it through to the Women's Euro 2022 final after beating Sweden in Tuesday night’s semi-final.

They'll be taking on old rivals Germany - and if they win, it'll be their first ever major trophy.

But win or no win - they've already inspired a nation of girls to get involved in the sport.

  • Report by Natasha Potts

Poppy is from Gillford Park Football Club in Carlisle. She's even got tickets to go watch the final in London - and she can't wait: "The atmosphere and stuff in the stadium will be brilliant.

"Sometimes girls don't get much in football, but now they're getting a better chance

Amelia also trains with the club, and has been inspired by the England Ladies:

"My cousins always play football together in the back garden, and I really want to be a professional footballer when I'm older.

"My dad said last night, I'm aiming for you to be at Wembley when you're older, and for me to be there on the sideline watching you."

Women's football having a higher national profile has helped capture these girls imaginations. Many of whom dream of a chance at glory themselves one day.

Poppy's mum Lisa Birdsall says enthusiasm for playing has been growing and growing: "They live sleep eat  breathe, dream football. It means absolutely everything to them.

"We saw a massive uptake in young girls wanting to come and join, so we've got about four or five Gillford Park Girls teams in this sort of age range. So it's really taken off and it means a lot to them just to have something that's their own instead of having to play with the boys."

"I think it's both inspiring. It's empowering. It's given them great role models to look up to, and it's something to aim towards that they can do it too."Tracy Gannon is Head Coach for Carlisle United Ladies. She said: "The fact that it's been on mainstream TV is helped massively, because there's potentially people who've watched the game, who might not have watched it before.

"I think they've been pleasantly surprised. So yeah, definitely an increase, because a lot more people are asking me about it and talking about it

With hundreds of young girls around the region gripped by euro fever, the club say the goal is now to hold on to their excitement and enthusiasm and keep that momentum going.