It was purely by chance that I came across a tweet just over two weeks ago on the morning that the Women's England Football Team, also known as the Lionesses, were to kick off their Euro 2017 campaign with a group stage clash with Scotland. I watched the game that night and witnessed a magnificent 6-0 win over the mighty Scots with Jodie Taylor, who I Incidently share a hometown with, scoring the first hat trick in a women's major competition for England. When I tuned in that evening I had very little idea of how infectious this competition would be.
I continued watching each group match the Lionesses played facing Portugal and Spain, I even dabbled in some of the other games taking place in the competition. Following that initial win against Scotland, it felt like this English side could do anything and winning three out of three games to top Group D they did just that, it couldn't have gone any better for the Lionesses. Their topping of their group meant they were to face France in their quarter final play off, a team they had failed to beat for 43 years.
The quarter final took place last night, it was an agonising and nerve tingling watch but with a winning goal from Jodie Taylor to further her golden boot lead, the Lionesses did it. That means the Lionesses have booked their place in the Semi Finals and will go head to head with the host nation side The Netherlands on Thursday. With Sweeden, Germany, Spain, and France being knocked out in their Quarter Final results it also means that the name on the cup at the end of this competition on Sunday night will be a new one.
The age old arguments against women's football have absolutely no place, the games are fast paced, exciting and tantalising. There has long been a contrast between the support and attention between men's and women's football. Of course, it isn't a surprise as the inequality between men and women is constantly highlighted even in today's society. Women's football has a vastly interesting and turbulent history and whilst drew crowds of tens of thousands to its early games, it was banned in 1920 by the FA as Football was viewed as 'quite unsuitable for females' which was a view that continued until the late 60s.
I wholeheartedly implore anyone with an interest or even without an interest in Football to tune into Channel 4 at 7.45 on Thursday night to watch and support the Lionesses when they face The Netherlands in their Semi Final clash in a bid to book a place in the Final. The Final will take place on Sunday and I can say with confidence that if you watch the Semi Final and England manage to take a spot in the final you will make it your priority to be locked in to watch that game on Sunday night.
Since tuning into that first England match just a couple of weeks ago, I've become so enthused with the sport I've ordered my England shirt and booked tickets for myself and a group of friends to see England take on Russia in their World Cup 2019 Qualifier next month just down the road at Prenton Park in mine and Taylors home town and to think we could very well be watching the European Champions is even more exciting than the prospect of seeing the Lionesess play is already.
I hope you will join me in getting behind the Lionesses this Thursday. The Lionesses are one of the strongest England sides I've seen in my life time and I believe they will find a way to win. I would love to see even a fraction of the support and enthusiasm that the men get given to the women over the next week. They are working incredibly hard and let's hope it pays off in the coming game.