By 90Min
September 25, 2018

BT Sport Women's Super League pundits Sue Smith, Kelly Smith and Lucy Ward believe that the increased prominence of female voices analysing English Premier League and international games can only good in helping to raise the profile of the WSL.

Answering questions from 90min fans, in what will be an exclusive season long partnership with official WSL broadcaster BT Sport, the trio emphasised how a change in attitudes has helped evolve the role of female pundits, highlighting that having played the game at the highest level themselves, they equally know the game inside out.

"I think so, you look at the TV now and it's almost the norm to see ex-female players alongside the ex-male players," Ward said, when asked if the WSL was gaining additional attention because of an increase in female pundits.

"Nobody sees it as strange anymore. Obviously they (Kelly and Sue Smith) know just as much and they have played at that top level. I think it can only be good for younger females looking up and wanting to get into the media in that way."

"It's not easy (the transition from player to pundit) to make, and it's very much a confidence thing with a microphone under your mouth," Kelly Smith added.

"But we've played he game for a number of years and you know the game inside out. It's then portraying it and breaking it down to the viewers that are watching, but it's really enjoyable because football is all in our blood."

Former Arsenal Women's star Smith, who across two separate spells played for the north London club for a decade, praised her former side's start to the season, suggesting a title challenge could be in the offing given the Gunners' strength in depth and variety of goalscoring options.

"They've certainly started off extremely well, with 12 goals in two league games and they've got players in form. Vivianne Miedema is on fire, you've got Kim Little scoring, Jordan Nobbs, Katie McCabe.

"It's not just one person scoring so in the past couple of seasons, they've started quite slow and dropped points early, always playing catch up. They've had serious signings come in and strengthened their squad, so they've just got to try not to drop points against teams at the lower end."

The pundits also discussed whether or not playing abroad benefits Phil Neville's England squad, with Toni Duggan, Lucy Bronze and Izzy Christiansen current examples of international players plying their trade outside of the WSL.

"I think so, they are gaining that experience aren't they of playing in a different club, it might be a different culture to go out there and try and look after," Sue Smith said.

"But when they come back and play for the Lionesses, all of those experiences put together I think will help them. Playing in the Champions League, I know from talking to the girls, they're loving it and the new fresh challenge (it provides).

"Without a doubt, I think it will certainly help them."


BT Sport brings you the moments that matter with exclusively live action from the FA Women’s Super League, FA Continental Tyres Cup and SSE Women’s FA Cup. Watch on TV and via the award winning BT Sport App.

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