Merk argiewe: increased

Increased Women’s FA Cup prize fund is ‘way forward’, says ex-England captain

Increased Women’s FA Cup prize fund is ‘way forward’, says ex-England captain
Gillian Coultard was given an MBE by the Princess Royal at Windsor Castle.

A former England football captain has said the increased prize fund for next season’s Women’s FA Cup is the “way forward” as she called for more funding at grassroots level.

Gillian Coultard, 58, who was the first women’s player to win more than 100 caps for her country, was given an MBE for services to football by the Princess Royal by Windsor-kasteel.

Coultard told of working full-time in a variety of jobs alongside her career at Doncaster Belles, as she compared her playing days to the footballers of today.

It comes after the Football Association announced the prize fund for the Women’s FA Cup is to increase to £3 million per year.

She praised the decision to increase the Women’s FA Cup prize (Jonathan Brady/PA)
She praised the decision to increase the Women’s FA Cup prize (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Asked about this, she told the PA news agency: 'Wel, it’s the way forward, it has grown from my time to how it is now, I think as winners at Doncaster Belles we got £2,000, which back then helped us quite a lot.

“Obviously the increments that they’ve got now is the only way forward and the way that we have to be really.

“It’s got to be equal at every level and it’s got to go to grassroots like it does in the men’s game, and I think if there’s no infrastructure, nothing available, we’re not going to get these kids through.

“Yes we’ve got the talent centres, but that’s only for a few, there’s probably thousands of girls out there that are just as good but aren’t being picked up.

“So I think we need to make sure that the money is going all the way down to grassroots.”

Coultard said she was “honoured” to have picked up the award, and told of her “amazing day” after speaking with Anne, going on to say it was “up there” with her biggest achievements.

She added that her family and friends were “nervous” but that she was not “fazed” by the occasion.