Former Manchester City Women's player encouraging more girls into football

Manchester City Women's player Karen Bardsley is calling on schools in Greater Manchester to improve access to football for girls in schools.

The former player, who retired earlier this year, has teamed up with Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham and the FA to encourage girls into the sport.

Across the UK 63% of girls have access to football as an option in school, but the figure for Greater Manchester is similar.

Andy Burnham wants it to be an opportunity to raise the profile of the game within schools:

The pair are writing to all schools in the area to ask them to provide a minimum of two hours of games to be on offer, and for football to be an option within that.

It is a call which has also been backed by Manchester United and Lionesses striker Alessia Russo, and follows a similar letter from the Lionesses to the government.

Representatives from the Manchester FA and local school pupils have been practising their football skills at the all weather pitch at MediaCity UK, as part of the launch.

It comes ahead of the Women's Super League tie between Manchester City and Manchester United on Sunday.

The Greater Manchester Women's Football Board was set up in June this year, ahead of the start of UEFA Women's EURO 2022, to develop women's and girls' football at all levels across the city-region.

It includes increasing participation from players and newcomers at grassroots level, through to supporting established teams in the FA Women's Football pyramid.