The European Championships being held in England this year will be pivotal in the growth of the women's game in the United Kingdom and across Europe.
It's not to say in some countries it's not growing, but these tournaments introduce a new crowd to the game that so many already follow.
It's also a chance for some of the Manchester City players to play against the best teams in Europe.
This all comes against a backdrop of not being able to legally play football until 1971, a ban of 51 years after the women's game became popular during the First World War, and continued to attract big crowds even when the men's game had restarted.
In 1920 over 50,000 packed into Goodison Park on Boxing Day to watch Dick, Kerr Ladies vs St Helens. Dick, Kerr Ladies being one of the pioneers and best teams to play, named after the factory they worked for in Preston.
The Football Association placed plenty of restrictions on the way the teams were run. In 1902, the FA passed a motion that banned mixed-sex games, but there is also some evidence pointing to this ban having extended to women’s teams’ use of FA-affiliated grounds too. There are references that imply it was still in place as far back as 1917.
Fast forward to 2022, Manchester City have ten players involved in the tournament with seven of those representing the Lionesses. Goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck, Defenders Alex Greenwood and Demi Stokes, Midfielder Keira Walsh, Forwards Chloe Kelly, Lauren Hemp and England's all-time top scorer, Ellen White.
England's group has them up against Austria (Wednesday, 6th July), Norway (Monday 11th July), and Northern Ireland (Friday 15th July) who are playing in their first major tournament.
Norwegian midfielder Julie Blakstad will be up against her Academy Stadium teammates when she turns out for her national side. Blakstad joined City on 27th January 2022 from Toppserien outfit Rosenborg after scoring 17 goals in 35 appearances for the club.
Laia Aleixandri only joined the Academy Stadium side on 1st July 2022, this tournament will be the first time that the city fans will be able to get a glimpse of what to expect from the Spanish defender when they take on Finland (Friday 8th July), Germany (Tuesday 12th July) and Denmark (Saturday 16th July).
She's joined in the side by fellow defender Leila Ouahabi who joined City from FC Barcelona Femeni in July with Aleixandri and will be a key part of Gareth Taylor's side next season.
All games are live on BBC in the UK, with ESPN picking up the tournament in Canada and USA. Details for how to watch elsewhere are available at UEFA.tv.
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