Former England Lioness Casey Stoney has praised Prince William for being a 'male ally' in the world of women's football.
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The 40-year-old professional football manager opened up about her connection with the royal, heaping praise on his 'genuine' efforts to promote women's football.
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"I've met him a few times. He's been such a huge supporter of the women's team. When I met him, we showed him around St George's Park – he's just a really nice guy.
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"He genuinely cares about women's football… [having his support] gives the game more visibility and helps to [foster] gender equality and inspire the next generation", she said.
Casey is an ambassador for McDonald's Fun Football
As a mum to two daughters, Tilly, seven, and Willow, four, the former defender is a huge advocate for spearheading equal rights and opportunities on the pitch. Speaking from the heart, she said: "I've got two little daughters and I want them to grow up knowing that no matter what, they're more than capable of doing exactly what their brother does. I want them to have the same opportunities as he does."
The football manager has three kids - twins Tilly and Teddy and four-year-old Willow
Touching on her professional debut, Casey explained how she initially had to play for a boys' team. At the age of 12, she then made her first debut for Chelsea's senior ladies team.
"I was quite tall and although I wasn't legally allowed to play, we had to change my date of birth and everyone else was about ten years older than me, so it was a bit of a daunting experience", she revealed.
Casey shares her kids with her long-term partner Megan Harris
In a bid to get more kids involved, Casey has taken on an exciting ambassadorial role for McDonald's Fun Football programme. The scheme aims to provide one million children aged 5-11 access to free football coaching sessions over the next four years.
Having grown up with very little herself, Casey hopes that the programme will provide plenty of opportunities to families who otherwise couldn't afford it.
The manager was awarded an MBE for her services to football
The 40-year-old's new role comes amid growing excitement for the England Lionesses as they progress to the Euro 2022 semi-finals. As a former Lioness herself, Casey said she will be fervently rooting for the England team. "Even when I think about it, I get emotional. I would genuinely cry if they won.
"I gave 18 years to that team, and I loved it. They have the opportunity to change the game for young girls everywhere so that they don’t have to face the same barriers as we did."
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