On International Women's Day, Southampton FC Women have spoken on the ever-growing female game and how they will continue to #BreakTheBias.
On Sunday 30th January 2022, over three thousand fans were in attendance at St Mary's Stadium to watch Marieanne Spacey-Cale's side triumph over Championship team Bristol City in the Vitality Women's FA Cup.
A standalone event which showcases the ever-growing popularity of the club's Women's team as they continue to climb the football pyramid in search of that ultimate goal of the Super League.
Such an increase in popularity can be seen across the game, with 2021 recording record viewing figures for Women's sport according to a new report.
This week, we asked members of our Women's team what they are doing to #BreakTheBias:
Leeta Rutherford - “To me, we should be in this together. We should all love each other but it’s a time thing. Nobody knows how long we’re on this planet so I think no matter if it’s a cultural thing, a racial thing. We should all be in it together.
"I wish I was 17 in the world of football now, being in it now at a young age I think they’ve got the world at their feet. There’s been a massive progression in football. You get so many opportunities now that going back to when I started playing weren’t there.
"Bringing more fans through the door, it’s the crowd thing, you can showcase a lot more and it’s good that people want to come and see women’s football now. They’re looking at it from a different perspective. It has changed a lot over the last three, four, five years.”
Laura Rafferty - “I think it’s a day for celebration and as footballers we’re role models for the girls that are coming through. We didn’t always get that opportunity and the girls now are very lucky to be able to see it to be it.
"At their age when we were there, we couldn’t see that. Over time, the opportunities have come around for women and I think this day in particular is a massive celebration for everybody to look at and understand that women can be what they want to be.”
Sara Luce - “I hope that it keeps getting better obviously. Having increased media as well improves the visibility of female role models, especially with the Euros coming up and having the game all around the country so that as many people can go and watch the games as possible, I think that’s pretty good”
"Young girls have female role models to look up to these days, when I was young I had to look up to van der Saar and de Gea rather than Karen Bardsley and Ellie Roebuck."
Ella Pusey - "We need to keep pushing forward. There's no limit to what we can achieve."
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