Chelsea star Niamh Charles has a theory. She thinks the men’s World Cup in Qatar at the end of the year will help raise women’s football to new heights.

The 23-year-old winger, who has signed a three-year contract extension to keep her at the club until 2025, reckons a six-week break in the domestic top flight is a golden chance.

“I think it’s an opportunity,” she said. “The whole country will be supporting England, which is great, but I think having [women’s] games played on home soil, means that fans who would have gone to men’s games will hopefully come to us.

“It should be a real driver to the clubs to say ‘Come down to the women’s games’. Off the back of the Euros people are a lot more interested, so it’s definitely exciting and we can look to build on it as we do with every international break.”

Niamh has a real understanding of the fans, and always makes a point of dashing over to chat to them after games.

It has made her popular with the Kingsmeadow faithful, and is something the men could learn from.

Royal mourning has disrupted the schedule for Chelsea’s men and women, with the Blues’ game against Liverpool at the Bridge, due to take place last weekend, cancelled because police resources were so stretched with queues paying their last respects to the Queen.

Chelsea Women’s game up at Liverpool did go ahead, however, but Emma Hayes’ team had a disappointing start to the Women's Super League season losing 2-1 largely against the run of play.

Niamh Charles played her part in the starting line-up with the Blues firmly on the front foot.

However all their efforts came to nought in a game which saw three penalties scored and a Blues goal controversially ruled out.

Chelsea will be hoping to bounce back from what has been a painful defeat at their next game at home at Kingsmeadow on Sunday, September 25 at 4pm against Manchester City.