sport news IAN HERBERT: English game desperately needs a triumph for the ages at the Euros trends now
The FA are not making themselves hostage to fortune by predicting how far England have to progress in the next 25 days for the European Championship to constitute a success.
'Spreading hope and optimism,' was the evangelical answer given by Baroness Campbell, the FA's head of women's football, when Sportsmail asked her to define success earlier this month.
But a journey to the semi-finals seems the very minimum requirement. When the FA launched their women's football strategy in 2020, Campbell said it would be a failure if the England team did not win either this tournament or next year's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, where a formidable USA team will stand in their way.
England desperately need a triumph for the ages to accelerate demand in the women's game
An FA briefing document released on Tuesday stated eight objectives to be accomplished by 2024. 'Win a major tournament,' is the sixth of them.
There is more to it than supremacy over France, Sweden, Germany and Spain, the other fancied sides in this tournament.
One of the FA's major challenges has been convincing secondary school headteachers that introducing football to girls' PE curricula, which have traditionally entailed netball and hockey, is worthwhile.
Baroness Campbell says 'spreading hope and optimism' is the ultimate goal for the Lionesses
Only 44 per cent of secondary schools are offering equal access to football for boys and girls, a terribly poor number. Only 40 per cent of schools - primary and secondary - are offering