OPINION: Here's why more people should watch women's football
With the attraction of the big stars in men's football playing in the Premier League, women's football continues to be overshadowed, writes University of Derby football journalism student Molly Jennens.
However, you’ll be just as likely to watch an equally entertaining game for half the price while supporting your teams’ ladies side.
From the manager, to the star striker, the gentlemen on turnstiles to the regular fans; you will find the intimacy that is very often missing in the men’s game, but so prominent in the women’s.
Following the exploits of England’s female footballers at the 2015 Women’s World Cup, where they defied expectations to finish third in the tournament and capture the nation’s hearts in the process, there was a spike of interest in the women’s game.
People embraced the story of the England Women’s team and the fight they showed that carried them through to win bronze.
They have done more justice to the supposed Three Lions spirit than their male counterparts in recent years.
Attendances in the top English women’s league – Women’s Super League 1 (WSL 1) – certainly benefited and saw an overall rise of 48% in the 2015 season compared to 2014, with record crowds after the World Cup.
There were also record breaking attendances at the last two Women’s FA Cup finals as Wembley played host for the first and second time.
Football is now the biggest female sport in England, as girls all over the country are determined to dispel those traditional myths that football is a man’s game.
But, while there has been exponential growth in women’s football as a participation sport, it is still yet to really take off as a spectator sport.
If you go with an open mind, you will be pleasantly surprised.
Of course, you’re not going to watch Wayne Rooney at Old Trafford. Yet, one of the main problems with top-level men’s football is the insufferable players. I can’t tarnish them all with the same brush, but the majority are overpaid men, with their designer clothes, sports cars and 16 bedroomed mansions that kick a ball around for a living. On the other hand, the women’s game isn’t littered with nearly as much preening or rolling around on the floor.
It’s family friendly, one for all ages and there’s a feel good factor that surrounds the game.