Powell: 2011 will be a fantastic tournament
© LOC

England coach, 41-year-old Hope Powell, spoke to the Germany 2011 LOC about women's football in England, the worldwide development of the sport and the FIFA Women's World Cup 2011.

2011 LOC: How is women's football progressing in England at the moment?
Hope Powell:
We've made constant progress over the past two years. We qualified for the World Cup in China in 2007 and gave a good account of ourselves there. We're gradually starting to see the first real progress being made, but obviously this is just the beginning. We want to carry on improving and be regular participants at all the big tournaments. This does not just apply to the senior national team but also the juniors, whom we want to bring up to this level as well. This is what is needed if women's football is to develop in England.

What do you associate with the name Steffi Jones?
She really was a great player and is obviously the ideal ambassador for the FIFA Women's World Cup 2011. The footballing experience which she acquired throughout her career is beyond compare. I think that she was the perfect choice as President of the Organising Committee.

Do you think that events such as the FIFA Women's World Cup are genuine ways of promoting the global development of women's football?
There's no doubt about it. I believe that women's football is being marketed better around the world through the simple fact of increased viewing figures and the consequent rise in media attention. International competition at a World Cup also improves the standard of the players and the matches.

Who in your opinion are the current and future stars of women's football around the world?
At the moment there are a great deal of talented young players who are catching the eye. It's difficult to say in advance who will make the breakthrough though. That said, there are many great players around at the moment - Marta, Birgit Prinz, Kelly Smith and Christine Lilly for example. And it's great to see that these individuals come from so many different countries. That's important for football in global terms.

What are your expectations from Germany 2011?
Whatever happens, the World Cup will be wonderfully well organised. The mere fact that the Organising Committee began its work as early as 2008 speaks for itself. Good luck to Germany in organising the 2011 event. I'm already sure it will be a fantastic tournament.

Who are among the early favourites in your opinion?
It's only 2008. Ask me again in 2011.