Women's Team

Blakstad: This is just the beginning for women’s football

Julie Blakstad believes this summer’s Euros has the power to ignite a new era for women’s football.

The Norwegian, who signed for City in January, is set to feature for Norway against Northern Ireland this evening in the second game of Group A.

Hosts England opened the tournament on Wednesday night with a win over Austria, which was contested in front of a sell-out crowd of 68,871 at Old Trafford – a record audience for a game in the competition.

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Blakstad says she has been thrilled to witness the rapid rise of the sport with history-making attendances on both the international and domestic stage in recent months.

“It’s cool to see that women’s football has been able to sell out stadiums with 90,000 tickets,” she told mancity.com.

“It’s incredible and it just shows where women’s football is going.

“We’re only seeing the beginning. It’s going to be so good.”

Previewing the tournament, Blakstad says Norway are aiming high with a strong team spirit, and has tipped England to shine on home soil.

The Grasshoppers and Lionesses lock horns on Matchday Two of the group stage with our January recruit set to go head-to-head with her City teammates.

Highlighting the ‘ones to watch’ throughout the competition, she admits there are a few contenders in the mix.

“Of course, it’s going to be difficult facing England in the group and then facing Spain or Germany after that in the quarter-finals if we go through,” she declared of Norway’s hopes.

“There are some tough games but if we want to go far, we have to beat good teams.

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“I’m hoping we can at least reach the semi-final. It’s going to be tough but we have to have high goals.

“England, playing at home and having the crowds watching them, and Spain (having so many Barcelona players) should be good.

“There are a lot of teams who can do well: Germany and the Netherlands are always good, and Sweden always do well; they're ranked number two in the world so they are really up there and they have some really good players.

“They have confidence in their team and a team spirit, which is also important in a World Cup and a Euros – it's not about individuals, it’s about having a team spirit. For us and Sweden, that’s something we’re especially good at.”

Watch City’s European stars in action at the Academy Stadium next season. Find out more.

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