'Manchester screaming out for women's football'

Wednesday 08 Apr 2015
Toni Duggan has scored 14 goals in 24 internationals

England’s match against China on Thursday will spark further interest in women’s football in the Manchester area, according to Three Lions striker Toni Duggan.

Mark Sampson’s side will entertain China at Manchester City’s new Academy Stadium in their last home match before the World Cup.

And Duggan, who plies her trade for the Citizens, can’t wait to pull on the England shirt in City’s new top-class facility.

England v China

A Women's International
7.30pm, Thursday 9 April
Academy Stadium, Manchester
Tickets priced £5 adults, £2.50 children
Buy via MCFC.co.uk/Tickets

She said: “We’re very lucky to be able to play here week in, week out. We can’t wait for the England game here.

“Manchester is really screaming out for women’s football, so with Manchester City Women being involved and the England game being here, hopefully that can be a big part of it.”

Duggan scored 10 goals in Group 6 as England won all 10 qualifiers en route to Canada 2015.

They were brought back down to earth with successive losses to Germany and USA, the top two nations in the world, but the 23-year-old believes her team-mates will be stronger for those defeats.

She added: “We did really well in World Cup qualification. We can’t hide from the fact that the [other] teams probably weren’t up to our level

"And then we came up against Germany and USA and they’ve proved difficult. You learn from them games and you go back to the drawing board and you analyse.

“Hopefully it puts you in a better position for next time you face them.

“At a World Cup there are no easy games. It has been great preparation, although we have had some defeats. You learn more from a defeat than a win.”

They appear to have picked up a few notes from the two aforementioned matches as they went on to win the Cyprus Cup in March for a third time.

A knee injury prevented Duggan from playing her part as England picked up comfortable wins over Finland and Australia followed by a 1-1 draw with Holland.

And they clinched the trophy with a narrow 1-0 victory over Canada in the final.

Duggan said: “It was important that we got them wins behind us.

“We faced difficult opposition out there – Canada are one of the top nations – so it was a good test for us. We came out on top and deservedly so.

“Hopefully we can come away with a win against China.”

England have been drawn in Group F at the World Cup alongside France, Colombia and Mexico.

Tickets for the China match are on sale now, priced £5 for adults and £2.50 for children. A family ticket (two adults and two children) is £10 and group booking discounts apply.

Tickets are available via www.MCFC.co.uk/Tickets or in person at the Manchester City box office at Etihad Stadium.

By Glenn Lavery