Wigan borough residents urged to play their part in massive Women's Euro 2022 coup

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“Come and be a part of a momentous milestone in Wigan borough’s history!”

That’s the message for those from Standish to Golborne and from Billinge to Mosley Common ahead of the arrival of the UEFA Women’s EUROs.

With only a matter of days to go before kick-off, residents are being urged to get involved and not miss out on the ground-breaking tournament which is seen as a real coup for Wigan.

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And there is very much an emphasis on the fact that this is an event which will entertain and benefit the whole of the borough, not just Leigh where games will be played.

Vicky Johnson and some of her young footballing protegeesVicky Johnson and some of her young footballing protegees
Vicky Johnson and some of her young footballing protegees
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Tickets remain available for matches at Leigh Sports Village with the fan parties and cultural programme also set to make an impact.

With anticipation building, the start of the tournament will be the culmination of a long process since the borough was first announced as a host in 2019.

Leader of Wigan Council David Molyneux MBE, said: “It’s a first for our borough to host a tournament like this and we’re incredibly proud to be part of it.

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The Women's Euros roadshow came to Mesnes Park recently during the jubilee celebrationsThe Women's Euros roadshow came to Mesnes Park recently during the jubilee celebrations
The Women's Euros roadshow came to Mesnes Park recently during the jubilee celebrations

“To welcome some of the world’s best players and have the spotlight on Leigh Sports Village is an exciting prospect and we can’t wait for kick-off.”

The tournament aims to create a legacy for the women’s game and for one borough club, it has already set solid foundations.

Ince-based FC Britannia will run its first under-7s side this year, boosted by sponsorship from the tournament that has also enabled club secretary Vicky Johnson to take the step into coaching.

She said: “Our club started in 2007 and we have grown to having a team at each age group through to under-16s.

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"We have always had girls playing in these teams but for the first time we will be entering an all-girls team into the league.

“We have seen the interest grow over the years, but the catalyst has been the Euros.

"Our aim now is to take this team through the age-groups and eventually have both a boys and girls team for each year.”

Making the move onto the training pitch and gaining coaching badges has been a positive experience for “Coach Vicky”, whose new team featured at the UEFA Women’s Euros Roadshow earlier this month.

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She added: “I have always been the person in the background making sure players are registered and hadn’t been tempted.

"But now I have been asking myself ‘why didn’t I do this earlier?’

“It’s exciting the tournament is here – our girls are skilful and have great technical ability, we’re hoping they will pick up more about match-play by watching the games.”

Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and Portugal feature in the group stage fixtures at Leigh Sports Village with tickets still available.

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Coun Molyneux, who recently supported FC Britannia with a £1,500 donation from his Brighter Borough fund, added: “A big focus of the tournament and one of the reasons for us wanting to be involved was the legacy it will create, inspiring a new generation of female athletes.

“I wish FC Britannia the best of luck for their new season and we will follow their progress with great pride.”