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Youngsters get master football class from stars of England Women’s team
TWO of women’s football’s brightest stars taught pupils from Mudeford Junior School to bend it like Beckham at Goldsands Stadium yesterday.
England Women’s team players Steph Houghton and Kelly Smith visited Bournemouth ahead of their qualifying match against Belarus in the town on Saturday, September 21.
And both soccer aces, who are first-time visitors to the Goldsands Stadium, said how stunned they are with the Cherries’ facilities.
Houghton, who began her career at Sunderland, said: “I’m really impressed with it.
“We’re having a great time here – we’ve had the chance to meet the vice-chairman, who was really positive about where Bournemouth are going, which is always great to hear.
“It’s exciting to visit clubs and meet lots of new people.”
The 25-year-old gained international attention during the 2012 Olympics in London when she scored three goals in Great Britain’s four games, including winners against New Zealand and Brazil.
She said she is passionate about encouraging youngsters to play football.
“I became interested in the game just playing it with my dad,” she said.
“I think there’s been more focus nationally as games are on the telly now. It’s amazing to think that we’re inspiring young girls, as we didn’t have any role models growing up.”
Smith, who was awarded with an MBE in the 2008 Birthday Honours, admitted that she was disappointed to miss the forthcoming match after sustaining an injury to her calf.
However, she said she hopes to return to Bournemouth to watch her teammates in action.
“We’ve had a fantastic afternoon here,” she said.
“The stadium here is great, and I’m impressed with the quality of the facilities Bournemouth has. I think there’s going to be a good atmosphere here for the match.”
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