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8 Ways The Women's World Cup Changed Football For The Better

Ellen White talks about the benefits of England's third place finish in Canada.

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England's heroics at the Women's World Cup have significantly raised the profile of the women's game in the UK.

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So we spoke to Ellen White to ask what's changed since she returned home after the Lionesses's success in Canada.

1. The women's game is more popular across all ages as part of the #WeCanPlay campaign.

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The #WeCanPlay campaign has really taken off since England's success at the Women's World Cup, and Ellen is now seeing first hand experience of that.

"We're hitting all the different age brackets, and all the different markets out there.

"Mothers tell us their daughters and young girls are really excited about joining their school girls' team, they didn't even realise their school had a team before.

"Now they're really excited for the next school year and they're looking forward to playing football, and it's great to think we had an impact on that."

2. More coverage of the women's game in the media and on TV.

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As well as going to 10 Downing Street, shooting the breeze with Prince William, and meeting fans from all around the country, Ellen notes that the rise in interest from national media has been huge:

"In terms of the coverage that were getting in newspaper columns, it's great.

"Social media has been great as well, and quite a few of the girls go on radio and tv often now.

"That's the key to getting the next generation involved."

3. The Lionesses are positive role models for girls AND for boys.

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"We're proud we've encouraged girls and even boys," says Ellen, who was one of many players, including Fara Williams (above) to be mobbed by young fans upon returning home from Canada.

"I feel like more boys are interested, I've got young cousins who are boys, and they're really excited about football, they don't care if it's girls or boys.

"It's fantastic for boys not to worry about the gender and just focus on enjoying football.

"It's just all about supporting sport in England."


4. More people are going to games.

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"Since the World Cup there has been a rise in the numbers of people going to Women's Super League games.

"People need to keep seeing it, not just at the game, but also on social media and in the press – social media is absolutely massive, kids and everyone are going mad for it.

"The media need to support us, to try and get more games BT sport would be fantastic."

5. Children are seeing more images of women being great at sport.

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"During the World Cup, everyone could see women from all countries being great at sport.

"I think we all take it seriously being role models, it's a privilege being a role model to young people, we want to be really passionate in football.

"The number of people who watched our games in Canada was fantastic, we didn't realise. 15 million watched our games even though they were on so late at night."

6. Proof that we CAN beat Germany!

absolutely bursting with pride to be part of this @england TEAM #Lionesess #bronzemedalists we beat the GERMANS 🙊

England's record against Germany in the men's game isn't great. In the last 10 meetings, England have lost seven.

And in the women's game, it was the first time England have beaten Germany in a competitive match – a major moment in English football history.

7. Making a good case for the inclusion of more teams in the WSL, which means more top level players.

This season there are only eight teams in the top flight of women's football in England.

But after the World Cup, that is set to change.

"I think there's two teams coming up next season, that'll be fantastic.

"If that continues our league will grow and grow. It's already extremely competitive this year."

The bigger and better the league becomes, professional football can become a more viable career path for more women in the UK.

8. Setting the stage for the first ever SSE Women's FA Cup Final to be held at Wembley.

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Despite the achievement of winning third place at the Women's World Cup in Canada, Ellen White is now turning her attention to the SSE Women's FA Cup final at Wembley on August 1.

It's the first one to be held at Wembley, and the work Ellen and her England team mates did in Canada has helped drum up huge interest in the match.

Her side, Notts County, take on Chelsea, and the highs of the World Cup must now take a back seat.

"It's mentally challenging with jet lag thrown in there, but ultimately I'm a professional footballer and this is what I do. I was excited to see my team mates and get back into the league.

"But I'm not going to lie, it has been mentally challenging.

"I got a chance to play at Wembley with Team GB at London 2012, and to get an opportunity to do it again is fantastic.

"And for the fans, to be able to bring your whole family to Wembley for a reasonable price is going to be great.

"Let's hope we pack it out!"