London 2012 Olympics: Hope Powell hails spotlight role for women
TEAM GB coach Hope Powell wants her side to seize the chance to showcase women’s football when they open the London Olympics against New Zealand tomorrow.
Although the opening ceremony does not take place until Friday evening, the sporting action kicks off two days earlier with the first game in Group E at the Millennium Stadium.
The timing of the fixture will put women’s football in the spotlight, and Powell sees it as a golden opportunity to raise appreciation of the sport.
“It is a great honour, I am really pleased it has happened this way,” she said.
“It will give us a lot of kudos, a lot of attention. It’s a chance to showcase the sport, hopefully it will be a good game and it will give people a greater appreciation of how good women’s football is.
“It’s a world stage, the Olympics is global, it is massive in its own right.
“With the coverage we will undoubtedly get, we are hoping we can catch people’s attention and raise the profile of the sport, not just in Britain, but globally.”
Powell’s side played out a goalless draw against Sweden in Middlesbrough on Friday as part of a double-header with the men’s side, and she and captain Casey Stoney revealed that the two squads have bonded well in the build-up to the Games.
Stoney said: “We had quite a lot of interaction, the guys have been really good. We spent a few days together as one squad and it was a really nice atmosphere.
“I think it was good for the girls and guys to be part of that and it was about the ethos of being one Team GB which I think worked really, really well, and as a result I am sure the guys will want to see how the girls are doing and vice-versa.”
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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