Big things are expected of Manchester City this season and defender Lucy Bronze claims the opportunity to make history is spurring the side on.
With a squad packed full of England stars – including Bronze, who has 23 international caps to her name – Man City are a legitimate contender to win every competition they enter.
The 2014 FA WSL Continental Cup is the only major trophy in their history to date but two wins from the opening two league games this season have them sitting atop the nascent WSL 1 table.
City were also unfortunate to exit the SSE Women’s FA Cup at the semi-final stage on Sunday – going down 2-1 to Chelsea after extra-time – but Bronze still sees no reason why it can’t be a memorable year.
“I think everything we are doing is a chance to make history – not only on the field but off it,” said Bronze, speaking at the launch of SSE’s new girls-only football participation programme.
“We have our own stadium, we have our own training pitches and we are setting the standard for everyone in the country, in Europe and the world.
“We are leading in that and now we want to be a world leader on the pitch as well.
“We don’t just want to beat teams, we want to do so by playing good football and we want to get the fans in. We are getting really good crowds in the stadium now.”
In partnership with the FA, Women’s FA Cup sponsors SSE are launching a new girls-only participation programme, designed to increase the number of girls between the ages of 7-14 playing the game.
The programme will see FA affiliated clubs offered grants to help run new girls-only teams and create the next generation of female football players.
And after her own travails playing the sport growing up, Bronze is convinced the participation programme can only benefit the next generation of girls.
“When I was younger I only played with boys,” added the 24-year-old.
“My mum took me to an all-boys programme and thankfully the people there knew about women’s football.
“They said to her ‘you need to be taking her to here’ and ‘you need to do this with her’.
“The biggest problem was that once you got to 12 years old, girls couldn’t play with boys anymore.
“I hit 12 and I was like ‘well who am I supposed to play with now’ because the nearest girls team for me was an hour’s drive from where I lived.
“Now there is a girls’ team in the town that I lived in and there are teams all over the country which is great and programmes like this one are so important.”
SSE are proud to be creating more opportunities than ever for girls to play football through the Participation Programme. To find out more about the work SSE are doing in women’s football, visit: www.SSE.co.uk/girls-united