Foundation coach talks about the progression of women's football on BBC Radio Leeds.
Leeds United Foundation coach Abigail Lee spent time live on the BBC Radio Leeds Breakfast Show this morning (Monday) to chat about all things related to the topic of women’s football.
Known as Abi, the young female coach has over 15 years experience in football starting at Leeds United at just eight years old. She is currently injured but does still play club football along with working at the club’s official charity as a Development Officer to help other young females reach their potential in the sport.
Hosted by Richard Stead, the duo spoke about the Women’s World Cup which is currently underway in France and the progression of women’s football, especially in West Yorkshire, over the past few years, with Abi stating: “I think that England should do well in the competition, they have done so far so I hope they can go all the way. America have been playing really well so they are probably the team to beat following some of their results.
“I think with this World Cup it’s a great chance for girls to see role models when they’re watching. You can see the excitement around this World Cup so now is the time to capitalise on that. This competition is a time for awareness of women’s football, there’s a lot of people tuning in that might have never watched it before, this is the sort of competition that should take the sport for females further.
“At the moment it’s quite exciting in general for women’s football but specifically in West Yorkshire there are a lot of girls getting involved, there’s always room for improvement in the game but it’s heading in the right direction.
“If you have parents and schools encouraging young girls to get more involved and letting them know that if they want to go and pursue football they can go and do it, there’s no stopping them. If they just look around they can see and be inspired by all of the females involved in the sport today.”
Abi went on to talk about her role at the Leeds United Foundation and the club’s ambitions for women’s football and the Ladies first-team, she said: “I help work on the elite female pathway initiative so it’s called a Regional Talent Club, working with ages from Under-10s right through to Under-16s. It’s all about focusing on a pathway for the girls so preparing them for the next step at a high level, whether that’s at a Super League club or even for England one day.
“The club definitely have ambitions for getting the ladies team into the Super League eventually. Some really good players have come through the ranks at Leeds United, the likes of Gemma Bonner and Rachel Daly. Leeds have created and helped develop a lot of good players over time, it’s a really good club to be involved in.”
You can listen back to the full conversation on BBC Radio Leeds here.