Tottenham Women's boss Rehanne Skinner insists Whitby's new 3G pitch can help unearth the next Beth Mead
Skinner, who grew up in Whitby, knows just how important such facilities are to young footballers and having worked with the England women’s national side in their various age groups, she’s seen their impact.
And with the progress on the local 3G pitch being positive, Skinner hopes that more local players have the chance to show their skills and impress those taking in the action from professional sides.
“It’s important that people of all ages get these opportunities to play regardless of the time of year”, she said.
“Having a 3G pitch which is really well looked after and is available all year round creates a bit of a hub feeling for the community to be able to take advantage of it.
“I’ve seen a lot of these pitches go up over the years and the amount of usage that they get through schools, after school clubs, different teams using it, and also sport for disability groups makes such a difference to those communities and the opportunities people have to get involved in the game and do something active and positive.”
The Spurs boss says it would be great for the new facilities to aid the progress of young players in the area and hopes Whitby can produce the next Beth Mead.
“Beth made the most of her opportunities in Whitby and I was lucky to work with her in the England age groups, as well as at the senior level,” she added.
“When I was a young player I had to travel to Middlesbrough but Beth was fortunate in that she had opportunities come up closer to home.
“With the new 3G pitch, hopefully even more players can come through from the town both on the boys and girls side of the game.”
The women’s game has gone from strength to strength in recent years and the Women’s Super League (WSL) has become one of, if not the, top women’s leagues in the world with some of the greatest players featuring in it.
Skinner has seen the women’s game develop throughout her playing and coaching career, and she wants the game to continue developing over the coming years.
“Credit has to go to the England teams that have done well in recent tournaments”, said Skinner.
“Their success has raised the profile of the women’s game and getting to the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2019 has helped the women’s game even more, including the league itself.
“There’s now an opportunity for players in the league to become role models to young girls coming into the game and this will only help the game to grow even more.”
It’s not just domestic action that seen growing interest in recent years though, with the England national side also becoming more and more popular.
Former Manchester United and Everton man Phil Neville recently resigned from his role as their head coach but Skinner believes that the impact he had on the side was clearly evident and his work should be greatly appreciated.
“We’ve had plenty of success in recent years and Phil’s work was fantastic but I don’t think we’ll stop there”, said Skinner.
“The FA have put in loads of work over the last decade that has helped to continually drive the national team forwards and they’ve created a pathway on plans for the next few years which will allow our players to be at the top level of the game.
“Players are now evolving and that will allow us to be even more successful in a major tournament and aim is to win one of those in the next three years, whether that be Team GB at the Olympics, our home Euros, or the World Cup after that.
“We’re definitely getting closer to those top nations and we are able to compete with them.”