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Women’s football on the up despite Ballon D’Or ‘twerk’ berk

Jon Maloney talking tactics with Harrogate Town Ladies and Ava Hegerberg with her Ballon D’Or award

By Will Ford

Harrogate Town Ladies say women’s football is on the up despite the controversial ‘twerking’ comment at the Ballon D’Or ceremony earlier this week.

DJ Martin Solveig asked Ada Hegerberg if she knew how to ‘twerk’ on stage after becoming the first winner of the Women’s Ballon D’Or.

Grace Adams, 30, a right winger at Harrogate Town Ladies, told Yorkshire Voice: “It’s a shame things like that still happen… But it’s not stopping the game grow.”

Harrogate Ladies currently sit fourth in the North East Regional Women’s Football League following two successive promotions after they formed at the start of the 2016/17 season.

Grace played in Sheffield and Loughborough before moving to play for her hometown team, where she hopes to finish her career.

She said: “It’s a really nice club to be around, the people are really nice and the set up is brilliant.”

Adams said the overwhelming feeling around women’s football is a positive one, despite the misogyny that continues to permeate the game.

“You still get male pundits saying things like ‘it’s a man’s game’, and that’s a shame, it’s clearly a game for everybody.

“But I’ve been playing the game for a number of years and the quality has just improved massively.”

This is the first season in which the women’s top division, The Women’s Super League, has been fully professional. 

Adams believes that professionalism at the top can only be a good thing for teams lower down the football pyramid.

She said: “As you get more quality at the top there will be more competition in terms of those teams and the teams lower down.

“I just wish I was 10 years younger, I could have been a millionaire!”

Jon Maloney, 33, manager of Harrogate Town Ladies, said he has seen big improvements in the women’s game in the last few seasons.

He said: “With the women’s national team performing so well recently in major tournaments, this has inspired young girls to get involved.”

England have just won the bid to host the 2021 European Championships and press coverage of women’s football has never been so extensive or so well received.

Grace Foyer, 18, a centre-back, is in her second season with Harrogate Ladies. 

She said: “Women’s football is definitely the best it’s ever been.

“I would love to play professionally in England, and now that is a possibility. It’s great!”

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