Marieanne Spacey: Women's game has finally arrived

 

Women's football came home last night and now, after the biggest occasion in the history of the female game in Great Britain, we have our best chance to establish it as a viable part of the national sporting scene.

I played for England at the old Wembley a few times, but those games were usually curtain-raisers for men's matches so to see a women's game of real importance played in front of a big, enthusiastic and appreciative crowd felt fantastic. For the players, it must have been amazing.

Credit to Hope's team – they have embraced the Olympic ethos and on the biggest stage, they've produced a level of performance that's worthy of the Games. Their first-half display against Cameroon in particular, was outstanding, but last night to beat an absolutely top team like Brazil was a great achievement.

I believe we can now go on to win a medal at these Games. In women's football for sure, London 2012's catchline of "Inspire a Generation" is truly working. As a coach educator these days I regularly put on demonstration sessions for five- to 11-year-olds and right now the girls are really buzzing about Team GB.

We have to keep that same buzz going. We've been talking for years about raising the awareness of the female game and thanks to Team GB and the Olympics, its profile has never been higher than it is today. Now let's keep it that way. And, oh yes, win a medal.

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