On the day he became the first Premier League player to back the #HerGameToo campaign, Republic of Ireland and Everton captain, Seamus Coleman, spoke about his delight for the continued progress in publicity for women's football.
With Ireland having qualified for their first ever Women's World Cup ahead of the 2023 edition in Australia and New Zealand, women's football has grown in stature on these shores. In England, where Coleman has played for 14 years, it has experienced an even bigger boom since the national team's victory at the European Championships last summer.
During a special event organised at Finch Farm to celebrate International Woman's Day, Coleman said how important it is for women's football to gain visibility:
I know how important inclusion is for everyone, for the girls to have such a big part in football moving forward. I think we've seen how important women's football has been especially in the last couple of years with England winning the Euros and my home country Ireland qualifying for the World Cup.
Coleman went on to speak abpout the importance of opportunity for the next generation of players, imporing that young girls should be entitled to have the same opportunities he was given when he started off playing soccer:
I want my daughters and other young women and girls to have the same opportunity as I have had. They should be able to enjoy the game in a safe environment where they always feel they belong.
The Everton full back also mentioned that besides playing the sport, there are also many other jobs in the football industry for women - with managerial roles for women at male teams a possibility:
Women have a massive place in football, not just playing but watching, commentating, punditry. That'll in time come as you see how well the managers are doing. I'm sure the crossover will come eventually. But at this moment and time I think we're going in the right direction.
Seamus Coleman first Premier League player as #HerGameToo ambassador
Alongside Everton women's player Gabby George, Coleman became the first ever male ambassador for the #HerGameToo campaign. It is a community interest company that raises awareness about sexist abuse in football.
It's #HerGameToo 💙@gabsgeorge & Seamus Coleman become the first-ever players in the English top-flight to sign up as official advocates for @HerGameToo.#IWD2023 | #InternationalWomensDay pic.twitter.com/CctcUoRgeN
— Everton Women (@EvertonWomen) March 8, 2023
Coleman is thrilled to be part of this movement and says that these types of campaigns can only promote women's football:
Football is a game for everyone and, as a Club, we have taken positive strides to promote inclusion across sport and society. Supporting campaigns like this one can only help spread that message further.