Impetus’ Nathan Edwards spoke EXCLUSIVELY to Reading head coach Kelly Chambers on how the WSL clubs need to work constantly to build on the foundations laid by the Lionesses’ Euros triumph to keep growing the game (3/9/22).
Above: Reading head coach Kelly Chambers. Photo: Reading FC.
Kelly Chambers believes the Women’s Super League should be the next competition to inspire young girls to get involved in football, after England’s success at Euro 2022.
The Lionesses return to the field for the first time since their victorious campaign in the European Championships to play Austria in a World Cup qualifier this evening.
Following this batch of international fixtures, the top flight of women’s football returns, and with clubs expecting record-breaking attendances, the attention on the women’s game has never been stronger.
Reading FC kick off their campaign against Liverpool with an expected 400 season ticket holders set to be attending the Royals’ curtain raiser.
Looking ahead to that game, Chambers said, “Off the back of the Euros everyone is excited for the season to kick off, and the work that the people at the club have done to help get this attendance has been phenomenal and long may it continue.”
The Royals’ manager doesn’t just want the opening game to be the end of the growth, with Chambers also believing it is time for WSL clubs to take advantage off the field as well.
The 36-year-old said, “We have seen the immediate impact from the Euros with ticket sales but we can’t rest on that.
“For me, the biggest thing is growing the club and helping women’s teams become more sustainable and start to see them stand on their own two feet.
“And this is going to be achieved through commercial deals to help push the game to another level off the pitch.”
The WSL has continued to show its potential with every passing season, but Chambers also believes that all levels of the game can be positively impacted by England’s performances this summer, with the right improvements.
“I hope young girls who wanted to get into the game who watched the Euros have been inspired, along with those who didn’t really have an interest in the sport have now wanted to get involved. I know my niece was the first to say she wanted to play football now.
“And the FA have done a lot behind the scenes to broaden their pathway, in terms of who they are hitting around the country and making sure everyone has access to join that talent pathway.
“For me, it’s a case of keep getting girls involved and use the WSL to keep inspiring those young players and get us players and staff out in the community to help keep people interested.
“At the end of the day, all the fans want to do is speak to the girls who step out on the pitch and have photos with them and that is an experience you get in the women’s game that might not be seen in the men’s game.
“So hopefully we keep on inspiring people every week and we keep growing the foundations that allow us to keep pushing at the top end.”