Sue Campbell reflects on increases across women's game after two years of strategy

It’s two years since we launched the Gameplan for Growth, our ambitious four-year strategy to transform the women and girls’ game. As we pass the halfway point, we remain on track and the results are encouraging, with a significant rise in players, clubs, coaches and referees. Baroness Sue Campbell, our director of women’s football, introduces our review and report on a busy twelve months in the women’s game...

Friday 05 Apr 2019
Wildcats enjoying football training

"A pivotal moment in our work to grow women’s and girls’ football in England came in May last year.

I was walking up a busy Wembley Way on my way to the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Chelsea. I saw a whole family – mum, dad, children and grandparents – taking a selfie, with the world-famous Wembley Stadium in the background.

If you pick apart the elements of that moment, it touches on so many positive things we are working every day to achieve.

Read the Gameplan for Growth year two report

For example, encouraging families across generations to watch women’s football – sharing memorable experiences and having fun in the process.

Arsenal fans at the 2018 Women's FA Cup Final

Hopefully, the daughter in the family will have been inspired to sign up to SSE Wildcats.

There’s nothing to stop her mum playing the game, becoming a coach or a referee or volunteering at her daughter’s club – playing her own part in helping the game develop.

And the moment was captured on a mobile device which no doubt found its way onto social media – spreading awareness of the game.

Once inside the stadium, the family will have been inspired by some wonderful role models – players, match officials and coaches.

Read the Gameplan for Growth year two report

With the opportunities we are now providing young girls to play the game, and with a fully-professional FA Women’s Super League, it means the girls among the record 45,423 crowd that day can genuinely aspire to a career as a full-time professional player.

Fans who watch women's football could be inspired to play

They can develop through our talent pathway and who knows, one day play in a FIFA Women’s World Cup, as our Lionesses will do this summer.

Or they can purely play for fun and make new friends.

Wildcats making friends and having fun

We want women and girls from all over the country, from whatever background, to play, coach, referee and sit in boardrooms.

This means not only providing these opportunities, but communicating them positively and highlighting all the benefits – professional and personal – which our national game can bring.

We still have much to do, but no-one can deny that solid foundations are in place".

By Baroness Sue Campbell FA director of women's football