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Women's soccer boss kicks-off sports facility

PUBLISHED: 15:13 21 October 2009 | UPDATED: 17:17 25 August 2010

UNVEILING: Hope Powell with Mike Wilkins MBE. PICTURE: Jim Highham

UNVEILING: Hope Powell with Mike Wilkins MBE. PICTURE: Jim Highham

AN INTERNATIONAL football manager who made her debut for the country at 16-years-old has praised women s football. Hope Powell, 42, hailed the women s game as she opened a new £2.7 million sports pavilion at the University of Kent s Canterbury campus.

AN INTERNATIONAL football manager who made her debut for the country at 16-years-old has praised women's football.

Hope Powell, 42, hailed the women's game as she opened a new £2.7 million sports pavilion at the University of Kent's Canterbury campus.

The former Millwall Lioness, who led the national team to the European Final in August, say that top class facilities and a proposed change in structure will benefit the female game.

Speaking last Wednesday she said: "When I heard the word pavilion I was expecting a few huts but I am pleasantly surprised and this is truly a top facility.

"The community in general including girls will want to play and train here and it can only lead to improved standards throughout Kent.

"There are plans to make the women's game a summer league and I personally feel this would also help it grow because it wouldn't be competing with the men's game."

Miss Powell, who won 66 caps for England, encouraged more girls to get involved in the game.

She added: "I have always played football and I would encourage women of all ages to do the same thing. It is something you can fall in love with very easily.

"I would encourage girls to get out there and participate and people in Kent to get out and watch the likes of Millwall, Charlton and Ebbsfleet ladies to watch the talent on offer before they make up their mind about the game."

The new facility was part funded by the Football Foundation, Kent County Council, the University of Kent and several other smaller partners.

It houses self-contained changing rooms with under floor heating, a social area and viewing galleries overlooking both the synthetic and grass pitches.

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