FA and Barclays invest £10 million into women's game over the next three years
The Football Association and Barclays have pledged to pump £10 million into the women's game over the next three years.
Ahead of the start of the Women's Super League this weekend, latest figures show that a third of us now say we are fans of women's football and seven in 10 believe that it deserves the same profile as the men's game.
The FA and Barclays money is going to target making football accessible to girls by 2024.
Former England women's captain Kelly Smith said: "A few years ago men's football defined the women's game - but not any longer."
Barclays Global Head of Sponsorship and Media has said: "The professional women's game is gaining momentum.
"Big money is being invested in the FA Women's Super League. So clubs will get prize money for the first time and be able to channel the rewards of their success on the pitch into new jobs, including more professional coaches."
Amy Merricks, who is only 26, is the assistant manager of Brighton and Hove.
She said: “It makes me feel proud – and motivated to continue changing the perception of women in sport. I’m driven to deliver as a female in a male-dominated sport and to build a pathway for other women
“We must strive for equality as we are not there yet, but we have come a long way and it looks to be heading in the right direction.
“I hope the growth of women’s sport allows organisations and clubs to look for the best person for the job instead of considering gender.
“If you want to get into football work, volunteer to shadow people at work for as many hours as you can. There is nothing better than hands-on experience.
“Be prepared for a tough ride at times and be motivated by setbacks – there were times when I was the only female on courses, but you have to put yourself at the forefront, embrace every moment and be confident in your ability.”