Sue Smith: ‘We struggled to find our scores in newspapers, now it’s huge’

first_imgA record 6.9 million people tuned into BBC One on Sunday as Sue Smith described the Lionesses’ chaotic 3-0 victory over Cameroon in the last-16 of the Women’s World Cup.It was something of a watershed moment for the game. Lampard appears to aim dig at Mourinho for handling of Salah and De Bruyne at Chelsea 3 Tottenham issue immediate ban to supporter who threw cup at Kepa 3 Alex Greenwood celebrates with the England squad after her strike in Valenciennes William Hill Faye White gives her analysis of Norway ahead of the Women’s World Cup clash with England getty The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star latest Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:35Loaded: 0.00%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:35 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. 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This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreen LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS Sue Smith spoke exclusively to talkSPORT TROPHY Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ JIBE deals boost center_img Solskjaer gives Pogba fitness update and calls him world’s best all-round midfielder LATEST Man United transfer news live: Haaland ‘wants a change’, two players off in January Samantha Miller looks at the three key players for England vs Norway in the Women’s World Cup Not only was it the most-watched women’s football match ever in England, the spectacle was inescapable whichever way you looked, grabbing the back page of every newspaper and headlining news bulletins.Perhaps for the first time in this country, women’s football became a genuine part of popular culture, and momentum will only grow ahead of tonight’s quarter-final against Norway.It represents a far cry from Smith’s first major tournament with the Lionesses: 18 years ago in 2001. Getty Images – Getty But women’s football is getting there faster than ever. Going back even further, only 10,400 female players competed in 1993, compared to 147,000 now, according to the latest FA figures.Meanwhile, it is estimated that more than one million girls play kickabout football, and Smith hopes the Lionesses can inspire more youngsters to get involved properly.“If they can continue to be successful as well, that would be massive for the game. You hope that would encourage more youngsters to take up football, whether it’s boys or girls, and ultimately just keep growing the game,” Smith added. 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This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. “I don’t think we’ve peaked,” she added.“I think this is an opportunity for England to peak and show how good they are. If we perform at the level we’re capable of, I see us beating Norway.“Then it’s a massive test against either France or USA in the semis.”England Women are 7/1 with William Hill to win the Women’s World Cup punished Speaking at a William Hill World Cup event, the co-commentator told talkSPORT: “I remember the first tournament I went to, it was the Euros in Germany. I’d phone my mum to ask how everything was going back home.“She would look through all the papers and find a tiny article, with just the score and the scorers. Nothing on the game. You had to really search to find any coverage.“You look at now and how huge it is. Not only on the T.V, it’s on the radio, in the newspapers. A lot of people that have maybe never been interested before are taking interest.”There is still work to do, cultural barriers to overcome, and the occasional bigot to convince. 3 The Lionesses face Norway for a place in the semi-finals “That’s what we all want. The girls are focussed on winning the tournament, but we as outsiders want the game to keep growing. They’re all very good role models at the moment and it’s just great that it continues to go in the right direction.”Before England can entertain any ideas of World Cup glory, they must overcome a serious test in Le Havre on Thursday night.And Smith expects the Lionesses to rise to the occasion and show the country what they’re capable of.Listen to Norway vs England live on talkSPORT, 8pm kick-off Liverpool update ‘Champions Wall’ after ending 2019 as European and world champions last_img read more