4 min read

Spurring on Women’s Football

Kerys Harrop is blazing a trail in professional female football. At 31 she has been playing professional soccer for over two-thirds of her life, having started with Birmingham City Women FC at age 10, then two decades later joining Tottenham Hotspur Women FC at the start of 2020/21.

Having helped win the U19 European Championships with England in 2009 and playing for Birmingham when they won the FA Cup in 2012, Kerys’s success on the pitch is hard-earned.

Kerys says: “I train four days a week and play a game on a weekend. Most days consist of training out on the pitch in the morning, and then a gym session in the afternoon after lunch. So as you can imagine, it is quite a lot of training. I am definitely grateful for the days off when they come around!”

Beside Kerys’s intense training regime, she has also taught alongside her football career for the past 8 years. She acknowledges that there are fewer female teams at the top compared to the men’s game, but is glad to see a rising awareness of the women’s game.

She says: “Fan attendance has gotten much better over the last few years as the publicity and coverage of the women’s game has improved. Now that games are broadcast regularly on the FA Player and Sky Sports, as well as the occasional game on BBC, this helps to make more people aware of women’s football.

The hope is that this will continue to encourage people to attend games live, but a potential downside of this is that people will watch the games on TV instead of attending games live.

Kerys is keen for girls and women to be better informed about how they can involve themselves in football and envisions a range of ways that educational institutions and footballing organisations could help this happen.

She says: “They could make people more aware of how to contact and get involved in local grassroots clubs. Creating more partnerships between educational institutions and local women’s and girls’ teams would also be beneficial, as it could provide placement opportunities for students to get involved in all areas of football.

“There are plenty of opportunities to get involved in, not just the playing side, but also other areas too such as volunteering, refereeing, football development and many other areas.”

Find out how to get involved in local teams: thefa.com/womens-girls-football