WELL-EARNED bronze medals from the third-place play-off at the Women’s World Cup are the England team’s reward for a quality campaign in Canada, but the legacy of their success will, hopefully, show itself in the local game over the next few years.

Chris Hicks, coach for the women’s team at Cirencester Town FC, said: “The FA have put a lot of money into ladies' soccer and that’s paid off with the World Cup getting so much coverage that everyone’s heard of it.

"It’s a great benchmark of where the women’s game has got to.”

Rob Andrews, coach of Ashton Keynes U13s girls' team, agreed, saying: “The publicity has been brilliant: they lost the first game against France but then got better and better and I think that’s captured the imagination of all ages. It’s been massively inspirational for those that play and those that don’t.”

Andy Powell, U10s coach for Ashton Keynes, added: “We’re carrying on training through the summer as we recognised the interest coming through, and we’ve definitely had more enquiries. I hope the World Cup will change attitudes, not necessarily among the girls but among parents and grandparents.”

One thing that might seem strange is that all three coaches, and England manager Mark Sampson, are male.

Chris said: “I don’t actually think that matters. It would be nice to see more female coaches but I think that will come.”

Andy added: “Most of our coaches are the dads of girls who play, but I think having women coaches is something that will develop.”

Along with the team effort, individuals such as Lucy Bronze have suddenly shot to stardom, with Bronze being one of eight players short-listed for the Golden Ball as best player at the World Cup.

Our trio agree that the higher profile the World Cup has given players has had a positive effect. Rob explained: “All of a sudden the girls are talking about Lucy Bronze, and they’ve not had famous role models before so this is a big thing for them. Overall there’s a lot more awareness of the women’s game in general and that can only be good for the game.”

The other thing they agree on is the positive impression the Lionesses have created. “Their team spirit was top class,” said Chris, “and their work ethic and attitude were excellent too, so when they went goals down they just got back on with playing.”

Rob said: “Players, manager and coaches supported each other throughout, they were good sports, and it was so positive to see how they improved as they went on.”

Andy added: “They showed such great team spirit, setting a superb example.”

If the Lionesses have inspired any readers to start playing football, please get in touch with Chris, Rob or Andy. Chris can be emailed at chrisctlfc@gmail.com, while the Ashton Keynes duo are happy to hear from new players via the website at www.akyfc.co.uk