Women's football ready for next level - Sophie Bradley

Sophie Bradley says the England women's football team is one major title away from stealing the hearts of the nation.

The Lincoln Ladies centre-half has seen a change in attitude to her sport following Team GB's run to the quarter-finals of the London Olympics.

And Bradley said England must capitalise on the interest at next summer's European Championships.

I used to be told I couldn't play football because it was only for boys - now I get comments from people that, yeah, women can really play

Sophie Bradley

"To go to the next level, we need to win something to put us out out there," Bradley told BBC East Midlands Today.

The England team have secured an automatic berth to the European Championship in Sweden, topping their qualification group ahead of Holland.

Bradley added: "I'd like to be in a major tournament and win it.

"The Olympics highlighted the quality and the amount of people that enjoy women's football."

The popularity of the women's game was obvious when 70,000 spectators packed into Wembley to watch Great Britain overcome Brazil.

It is a match that Bradley, who continues to work part-time in her parent's care home in Nottingham, believes has transformed how people think about women's football.

Women's game on the up - Bradley

"We are used to going down to watch the men at Wembley, we are part of that 70,000-90,000 people cheering them on, so to have that many people cheering us on was just a great change for women's football," she said.

"I used to be told I couldn't play football when I was little because it was only for boys. Now I get comments from people that, yeah, women can really play."

Bradley's ambition is to one day play as a full-time professional, skipping the early morning weight sessions and the nine-to-five job wedged in before training.

But she admits there are things she would miss.

"What I like to do the best is look after people and I find it to be a brilliant way to get football right out of the way," Bradley said.