Millions of people followed the Lionesses in the tournament, with a record 11.7m watching the semi-final against the United States. Stoney explained that it has crucially helped changed perceptions and brought the women's game to a whole new audience.
“[The reaction from fans this summer] has been incredible,” the United boss said.
“Obviously, the Women’s World Cup was huge. It’s really helped our game and fans have really got on board. All of a sudden [people] have realised that women’s football is okay and it’s good. But it’s because it’s had a platform to grow.
“Hopefully, we can continue to grow that [by] keeping putting the advert out on the pitch, and keep increasing the fan base because we have got the best fans in the world.”
Stoney was appointed United manager when the club formed last year and her team are competing in the WSL this season after taking the Women’s Championship by storm.
“It’s a privilege; an honour,” the ex-England captain said of her role at the club.
“I love it every day and I wake up every morning inspired by my staff and players around me. I’m part of one of the biggest football clubs in the world, with the opportunity to create a real legacy within the women’s game.”
Professional football is now a genuine career path for women in England in a way that it wasn’t even just 10 years ago. Players like Stoney had to work hard to break down barriers and her advice to young women, or even her younger self, is work hard and be determined.
“If I was to give my younger self any advice, I would say take every opportunity that comes your way [and] work hard,” she offered.
“Don’t ever let anyone ever tell you [that] you can’t do something – there’s going to be enough people in your life who are going to tell you, ‘you can’t’ – and spend every day proving to yourself and others that you can do it.”
United will begin their WSL campaign with a first ever professional women’s Manchester derby against local rivals City at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon. More than 20,000 tickets have been sold and the game will set a new WSL attendance record.
Source : 90min