This is just the start - Wigan borough's Lioness star

Euros hero Ella Toone is hoping the Lionesses’ success will lead to the women's game really taking off at a domestic level.

By Paul Kendrick
Monday, 1st August 2022, 3:19 pm
Updated Monday, 1st August 2022, 3:19 pm

A record 87,192 fans were in attendance at Wembley to see England beat Germany 2-1 after extra-time.

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And the challenge now is to build on the euphoria of the last month, with Women's Super League matches averaging only around 2,000.

Ella Toone

“I think a lot of people have fallen in love with women’s football this summer," said Tyldesley-born Toone, who plays for Manchester United. "That’s what we set out to do.

"So hopefully the crowds that we’ve had this summer we can get into our grounds at club level and some more fans at the stadium to be on the journey with us.”

With a World Cup in Australia and New Zealand on the horizon next summer, the Football Association's target of 6,000 crowds by 2024 looks to be well within reach.

“It’s massive now, absolutely massive," acknowledged Toone. “We can’t forget everyone who came before us.

"But we’ve left the shirt in a better place for all the little girls growing up and we’re so proud.

“All we wanted to do was inspire the next generation and we have done and women’s football is getting bigger and bigger.”

Toone admits her opening goal in the final - a magnificent chip over the advancing German goalkeeper - would live with her for ever.

“I’ve seen her coming out and I thought that would be the best shot to do," she told the Guardian. “I started celebrating even before it had gone in, and then the whole stadium erupted.

"Honestly...best feeling of my life."