By Tonci Prusac 

In just eight years, as a nation we’ve gone from being ‘unintentionally ignorant’ towards the wider women’s game, to an expectation that not only do we watch the Matildas, but we actively and passionately support our female footballers.

That’s according to a local women’s team coach who is currently in France for the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Speaking live from France on Tuesday night’s edition of the Geelong Region Soccer Show on FNR Football Nation Radio, Lara United Women’s Division 1 coach Ryan Horrocks admitted it was an emotional moment to be at the opening ceremony of the World Cup at the iconic Parc des Princes in Paris.

“As we sat squashed in the stands on Friday night at the Parc des Princes with 45,000 other people, predominantly French children, Rachael [his partner] admitted that the opening ceremony had her a little bit emotional,” said Horrocks, on phone hookup direct from the French capital.

“The opening ceremony had 264 dancers, 11 to represent each nation at the World Cup, and it was less about what they were doing on the field and more about what they represented.

“The unity of the nations, coming together in one place, so many women taking centre stage doing what they love… what they love.

“It marked the beginning of a new perspective for me, and it had nothing to do with the quality of the football on display or the amount of goals being scored.

“It was about getting an audience, some recognition for their hard work coming to fruition with people recognising it and saying that these people should be celebrated, that everyone in the future should have the opportunity to be celebrated,” added Horrocks.

The Geelong Region Soccer Show airs Tuesdays at 8pm AEST on FNR – Football Nation Radio. 

Josh Parish