Janine Beckie believes City and United’s rivalry extending into the FA WSL can only be good for the women’s game.

The two teams meet for the first time in the professional era on Saturday, with the Etihad Stadium venue adding gloss to what is already a momentous occasion.

It’s a mouth-watering clash for last season’s double cup winners against a United side embarking on their first season in England’s top tier and Beckie says the significance is not lost on the City squad.

“Growing up in the US, the hype is different around European football so to be part of it and to see how much it means to people is really cool,” she said.

“There are a lot of girls on our team – me included – who are happy to have the opportunity to be part of history in the first professional game against United.

“It’s a hometown rivalry that runs deep with the men’s team, so to be able to create that with the women’s team is really good.”

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City and United’s match up is the first part of a blockbuster opening weekend for the 2019/20 FA WSL campaign.

Chelsea take on Spurs at Stamford Bridge the following day and Beckie feels the derby is perfectly timed after the backing the Lionesses received at this summer’s World Cup.

And with the fixture being played in the Etihad Stadium, she’s delighted City continue to be so supportive of the women’s game.

“I think women’s football is in a place that it’s never been,” she added.

“Obviously England did quite well at the World Cup, so in this country specifically there is more interest in women’s football than ever.

“The Club is paying attention and to give us a game in the Etihad is unreal. We’re really excited to kick off the season.”