THE SUCCESS of the Lionesses at the Women’s World Cup has inspired female players of all ages to take up the sport in West Devon.

Amateur footballer Donna Hone, for Tavistock Ladies and Horrabridge Rangers, said: “The Lionesses have done our country and women’s football proud. They’ve certainly inspired a surge in interest in women’s football in this area, starting with the Euros win last year and continuing with the World Cup this year.”

Donna, who organises the ‘non-competitive’ Girls Do Football group run by volunteers in Tavistock and football coach at Mount Kelly College, said: “The girls at Girls Do Football were so joyous and energised by the Women’s World Cup. The group is a friendly relaxed environment for any girl who wants to play, regardless of their ability and capability. But many might want to play competitively now after seeing what the girls have achieved in Australia.

“If so, they can play with Horrabridge Rangers, who we work closely with in their various age groups. The skill the Lionesses displayed along with resilience (look at Alex Greenwood with her injury) and fair play is on par with the men, but with less fouls and dramatics on-pitch. It’s exactly the philosophy we follow. Also, shy girls benefit from increased confidence playing football and learn teamwork and make friends from all walks of life.”