By Jaideep Vaidya.
Millwall Lionesses’ rising star Megan Goss talks the need for more exposure of the women’s game, becoming a first-team regular at just 18 and her England ambitions.
Millwall Lionesses’ new winger Megan Goss reckons women’s football has made great strides – but believes an increase in live coverage would really help to grow their fanbase.
The former London Bees ace knows all about making progress after coming through their development squad, before breaking into the first team with 14 league and cup appearances last season.
Goss’s impressive performances caught the eye of Millwall gaffer Dan Mlinar, earning her a permanent contract with the Women’s Super League second division side last month.
The Premier League’s staggering £5.1billion TV rights deal has reinforced the financial inequality between men’s and women’s football but while the teen admits they are not comparable, she believes their game is equally deserving of the spotlight.
Goss said: “Women’s football is very different from men’s football, so you can’t really complain about that. But I still think things could be improved.
“But you have got to start somewhere and it’s continuously developing. I think more live coverage would help. More media exposure would draw supporters and it’s all down to them more than anything else. You’ve got to promote the game.
“Overall, the game’s going pretty well at the moment. It’s brilliant that the friendly against Germany at Wembley was sold out. It can grow massively from there.
“Millwall is a new challenge for me. I realised I play to the best of my abilities with them rather than when I was with the Bees, which is nice. It’s more to my playing area.”
Brave England and Arsenal legend Kelly Smith recently spoke out about battling her demons after fearing she would never play again when she suffered a leg break in 2004, but, injuries aside, Goss reckons football has been her saviour.
However, the starlet does have to contend with balancing a busy work schedule. She attends Business Studies classes at Essex University’s Southend campus and also trains twice a week with Millwall.
She added: “The schedule is manageable but the commute is difficult because it takes me two hours to get to football and two hours to come back.
“The only time I’ve really struggled is when I broke my cheekbone and fractured my eye socket last year. What football does, though, when you’ve got personal problems like that, is take you to a different place. It can make you forget about personal issues. It has done for me.”
Tottenham fan Goss would love to become a star on the international stage like her hero, former Spurs and now Real Madrid star, Gareth Bale is for Wales.
And she hopes playing for Millwall can help her break into the England first-team after earning caps at Under-15 level.
Goss admitted: “What you want is different from what you can achieve and what’s possible. I have played for the England U15s, which was amazing. I would like to take further steps and work hard to achieve them. If Millwall can develop me as a player and hopefully someone can have a lookout, you never know!”
For now, though, Goss is concentrating on making her mark at Millwall – and is planning to sting her old club Bees as she makes her home debut in their WSL2 season-opener next month.
She said: “It’s exciting to play against them and I’m looking forward to approaching them as rivals. They’re going to know about my game, but I’m going to know everything about their game as well. I don’t think they will stick out a challenge – but there’s definitely going to be some banter! It will be good because the girls here don’t hold back. They play with proper spirit.”