Birmingham City's FA Women's Cup win over Chelsea could inspire new generation of Bristol women's footballers
Bristol's football fans saw Birmingham City lift the FA Women's Cup this afternoon after a penalty shootout victory over Chelsea at a boiling hot Ashton Gate.
While the two sides competing are at the very top of their game, organisers of women's football across the Bristol area are hoping the match will help attract more to try the beautiful game.
Here in Bristol, women's football is rapidly gaining in popularity. The Easton Cowgirls started in 2002 with just two members. Now with 40 to 60 women regularly playing, the Cowgirls play in national and international tournaments.
Zoe Gibbon of the Cowgirls said: "It's absolutely fantastic that Bristol is hosting the finals which showcases the best of women's football...I'm sure that women will go and see the match and be really excited and want to get involved in football themselves.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"We're at the other end of the scale and play grass roots community football which anyone can get involved with.
"While we are a really successful club we struggle to find other teams to play against locally and we'd love women to be inspired by the FA cup and go out and set up their own teams.
"For years women were actively stopped from playing football and currently there is a small pool of women playing the sport for enjoyment.
"However this is set to change and, as football is taught in schools to girls, there is going to be an explosion of women playing in the next few years."
Fitting football round work and the family can often be the biggest challenge for women returning to football or setting up their own teams. New five-a-side leagues such as TNFive have been set up to try and encourage players to set up their own competitive leagues easily and cost effectively.
Sarah Amos, who co-founded the league, said: "We know there are a lot of women out there who would love to play competitive five-a-side but may find it hard to find enough women to play alongside.
"Added to that, family or work commitments mean that they often struggle to play at the same time week in, week out. TN5 is the perfect solution and we're hoping for a great take-up by female five-a-siders."
"My real bug bear," says Zoe Gibbon, "is this morning I watched the sport news and there was lots and lots of sport on but nothing on the women's FA cup final – we need to promote women's football more as a really exciting game for women to get involved in."