Since England’s women’s team won the UEFA Women’s European Championships, women’s football has seen a steady rise all across the country particularly in Dorset.
For example, AFC Bournemouth’s Women’s team since entering the women’s league structure they have dominated and are currently top of the Women’s Premier League Division 1.
So, what has gone so right for Women’s football in Dorset?
In 2018 Dorset FA County development manager Justin Mosley announced that there was a 45 percent increase in the number of girls teams playing in the Dorset girls league from 2016 – 2018 and in the same period of time there was a 42 percent increase in the number of girls playing in the league.
Both of these numbers are more than likely higher now following the success of the Women’s European Championships.
One reason why women’s football in Dorset has seen such a big rise is due to the much-improved development pathway for girls of all ages to get into the sport.
For years in the past women’s football had a poor functioning development pathway not just in Dorset but across England, However, this has steadily improved recently with professional football clubs such as AFC Bournemouth adding several girls’ teams to their academy ranks or grassroots football clubs either expanding on their girl’s section and founding one.
This was highlighted by AFC Bournemouth Women’s team manager Steve Cuss.
He said: “I’ve noticed that when I go out in my job as community manager I speak to these girls and they all know there is now a viable pathway for them which is fantastic.”
This pathway has also certainly improved the quality of the women’s game, something which Cuss also pointed out.
He added: “You see the rise in quality in the super league on TV and I’ve noticed particularly in the games we’ve played that the opposition are improving and that can only be a good thing for the growth of the game.”