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  • Gabby Laurent

The Lionesses Legacy: Women’s Football for the next generation in Sheffield

Lauren Hemp and Esme Morgan, Lionesses Instagram

The 2023 Women's World Cup has come to an end, and whilst it wasn’t the fairytale ending that England hoped for, our Lionesses, including Sheffield born Esme Morgan, have shown yet again what is possible when you dare to dream.

They made history by being the first England Women’s team to reach the final of the World Cup and are the first England team to reach a World Cup Final in over 55 years! This team built upon the legacy of the Euro’s victory last year and has completely transformed women’s football in the UK forever. I have been so inspired by their journey as they continue to break down barriers, expressing that football is a game for all.

Now girls across the country have role models that they can look up to. Our Lionesses squad are rewriting the narrative and calling for action on the world stage. The best part is that this is only the beginning.

Whilst the viewing figures for the WSL have significantly increased in the past few years, there are things that we can do in our local communities to continue the momentum created by the England Women’s team, like attending matches and supporting our local teams. With that in mind, here is your guide to women’s football in Sheffield, so that we can keep changing the game!

One thing the Lionesses have always been very passionate about is grassroots football. For a lot of them, they were forced to start their journey’s playing for boys’ teams due to the lack of opportunities for girls. This includes one of our own Lionesses in Esme Morgan, who started playing for Sheffield Ecclesall Rangers boys’ team from the age of 7 before going to Manchester City at 15.

Now, girls and women’s football is increasingly accessible and in Sheffield there is a whole host of different teams. There is dedicated Sheffield and Hallamshire Girls and Women’s County Leagues, and 2022 saw the formation of 15 new teams. It is clearly a really exciting time in Sheffield for girls and women to get involved with playing football. To find out more about how you can get involved in playing and supporting these teams, visit their website

Sheffield United Women’s team are currently playing in the Barclay’s Women’s Championship, just one step below the Women’s Super League, where many of the Lionesses play. After England won the Euros in 2022, United announced that their women's team would play all of their home games at Bramall Lane. When many women’s teams play at much smaller venues than their male counterparts, it is fantastic to see that Sheffield United are equal with their rights to play in the club’s stadium. Tickets are available to buy for their upcoming season through this link.

Whilst I was writing this article, I found it so encouraging to see so many opportunities arising for women and girls in Sheffield. Make sure to get involved and support local clubs to help women's football continue to thrive. The best is yet to come for Women’s Football and I can’t wait to see it go from strength to strength.


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