England’s triumph in the European Championship will inspire the next generation of Scottish women to play football, according to former Scotland captain Julie Fleeting
The Lionesses beat Germany 2-1 in the final at Wembley on Sunday and Fleeting said their achievement will be felt across the UK and beyond.
“It doesn’t matter what country you are from, I think that everyone will feel the benefit, right across Europe as well,” Fleeting told STV News.
“The tournament was fantastically run, really well supported and the football and product they had on show was exciting. And I’m sure that if it was your first time watching women’s football, that you’ll be back to watch it again.”
Fleeting, who has a record of 116 goals and 121 caps for Scotland between her debut in 1996 and retirement in 2015, was speaking ahead of the new season in the rebranded Scottish Women’s Premier League (SWPL).
Scotland’s elite teams have moved under the auspices of the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL), marking a new era for women’s football in the country.
The Scottish Football Association has also announced that Hampden Park will host the semi-finals and final of the new women’s Scottish Cup.
The move marks the 150th anniversary of the national game and the 50th anniversary of the first-ever official Scotland vs England women’s match.
Fleeting said: “I’m extremely proud of the sport itself and proud of our own national team. Although we didn’t make it to the Euros this year we still have a team of extremely talented players.
“As a mum of younger girls I’m proud to show them a pathway that they can achieve and that they can have ambition to become a professional footballer.”
“The opportunity is there it’s about your attitude and how you apply yourself, it’s not about the barriers that may be in your way.
“So everything’s there for a young girl just the same as it is and has been for younger boys.
“Now when you see the game growing and the opportunities arising, both here in Scotland and if they choose to go down south. It’s just wonderful to see, knowing where the game has came from.”
The new SWPL gets under way on Sunday, with defending champions Rangers kicking off their campaign at their new home of Broadwood Stadium against Glasgow Women at 4pm.
The first game of the day kicks off at 1pm when a new-look Glasgow City side will welcome Spartans to Petershill Park, whilst Partick Thistle travel to the capital to take on Hearts at Oriam at 3pm.
Aberdeen will travel to Hamilton and Dundee United will welcome Motherwell, with both games kicking off at 4pm. Meanwhile, double winners Celtic, play at home against Hibernian at 4.10pm.
In SWPL 2, newly promoted East Fife travel to fellow SWPL 2 newcomers Gartcairn on the opening day, whilst last year’s Championship North champions Montrose kick off their season at home to Stirling University.
Boroughmuir will play their first league game at their new home at Meadowbank against Kilmarnock whilst St Johnstone welcome a Queen’s Park side under new management to Perth.