Lionesses: 'We wanted more girls to play football'

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Lioness Alex Greenwood has told Newsround that seeing the next generation of girls come through and be successful is a goal for the whole team.

Greenwood and teammate Keira Walsh were speaking as they answered questions from the Newsround audience following their historic Euro 2022 win.

The England team beat Germany 2-1 in front of a record crowd at Wembley on Sunday.

The win has inspired lots of children including Phoebe who told us: "The Lionesses winning the Euros has made me want to start playing football."

"That's exactly what we wanted, we wanted more girls to be encouraged to play football, so it's a really nice message to start with," Keira Walsh commented.

Ella Toone of England celebrates with Chloe Kelly, Alex Greenwood and Keira Walsh of England after scoring their team's first goal during the UEFA Women's Euro 2022 Quarter Final match between England and Spain at Brighton & Hove Community Stadium on July 20, 2022Getty Images
Chloe Kelly and Alex Greenwood join teammates in embracing Ella Toone after she score's England's first goal during the Euro 2022 final

For both Keira and Alex, it was family members passionate about football and specifically their dads that first got them into football.

Keira's tip for girls wanting to play football is to "enjoy it".

She told Newsround: "There were times during this tournament I was playing for a younger version of myself".

Keira describes the love she had for a sport as a child, even playing football outside a restaurant when her parents were eating.

"Me winning this Euros is for that young girl who just loved football," she added.

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'We want to make girls feel powerful'

Alex and Keira also discussed the letter the team has sent to the Conservative Party candidates running for Prime Minister, asking them to make sure more girls are able to play football at school.

In the letter to Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, the 23-member Euro 2022 squad said: "This is an opportunity to make a huge difference."

"A change that will impact millions of young girls' lives," they added. "We ask you to make it a priority to invest into girls' football in schools, so that every girl has the choice."

A campaign spokesperson for Sunak said he had been inspired by the team and had already said he would launch a review "to make sure that all women and girls have the opportunity to take part in the beautiful game".

A spokesperson for Truss said England's Euros success would have a lasting impact on women's football and she would investigate "what prevents schools from delivering the recommended minimum of two hours PE per week".

Asked what they are most looking forward to in their careers in the future, Alex Greenwood replied:

"One probably for us both, for us all, is seeing the next generation come through and be successful."

And right now?

"Winning more trophies!"

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