Jill Scott highlights key issue that still needs addressing despite Lionesses' success
As the dust settles on what was a captivating, yet heartbreaking, World Cup campaign for the Lionesses, there's a renewed desire to create a lasting legacy and transform the landscape of women's football in England.
Off the back of the Euros win last year, young girls up and down the country were inspired to pick up a football and give the sport a go for the first time. England's run to a World Cup final this summer, before they were narrowly beaten 1-0 by Spain in the final last month, was another huge step towards inspiring the next generation.
However, one key issue that needs addressing at grassroots level isn't necessarily the number of young girls taking up the sport for the first time, but retaining their interest and ensuring they continue to play beyond their childhood. According to research from Starling Bank, nearly a third of girls who play football (30 per cent) stop playing by the time they reach their late teens. This is in comparison to one in ten boys (10 per cent).
While keeping at the sport she loved growing up was never an issue for a young Jill Scott, she was more than aware of those around her who stopped playing at a certain age. For me it was a bit different that I absolutely fell in love with football," the former England star exclusively told the Mirror.