LAUREN Haynes says women’s football must grow from the grassroots in the wake of England’s European Championships triumph.

The female game is riding a wave after the Lionesses beat Germany 2-1 in Sunday’s final at Wembley to secure their first major trophy.

It was the most-watched women’s football match of all-time on UK television as 17.4million viewers tuned in to BBC One and now the challenge is to capitalise on the surge in popularity.

READ MORE: Women's Euros can have knock-on effect, says Oxford United Women boss

Oxford United Women are expecting a big crowd for tonight’s friendly against Tottenham Hotspur Under 21s at Court Place Farm (7pm), with tickets only £3.

It promises to be a celebratory atmosphere and captain Haynes says the sport must harness the post-Euros boost.

She said: “It’s got to come from the bottom, we’ve got to invest more in schools.

“As the game grows and more media and sponsors get involved, that’s when higher up we’ll see a lot more success.

“There’s going to be a lot of investment, publicity and media, which is brilliant.

“At the same time, we need to make sure we stay realistic.

“Clubs still have to have their foundations and a business plan.

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Lauren Haynes Picture: Darrell Fisher

“We’ve seen it where clubs try to go full-time far too quickly, it doesn’t work and they come straight back down.

“It’s really important to understand how clubs operate as a business before they get a bit giddy.

“It’s going to increase attendances which increases income, it’s going to increase exposure and inspire younger generations which means there will be more opportunities.

“It’s really important to run a bit faster before we sprint, but make sure we’re not walking.”

United yesterday released season ticket details for the 2022/23 campaign, with adult tickets costing just £40 for the 12 FA Women’s National League Southern Premier home matches.

The U’s get under way against visitors Bridgwater United on Sunday, August 21, and Haynes revealed there is already a buzz around the game.

She said: “My phone’s been blowing up with people asking when the tickets are out for our first home game, and that’s not just young female fans – that’s fully-grown adults, boys, families and people who haven’t really come to games.

“We’re so excited to be able to play our first home game with fans we can retain and join our journey for the season.”

READ MORE: Oxford United Women lose to Aston Villa in pre-season friendly

United have already played Women’s Super League opposition behind closed doors in pre-season, taking on Aston Villa and Reading.

Spurs finished fifth in the top flight last term and Haynes expects a stern test.

She said: “It’s going to be a challenge, they’re going to be fit and have their style of play.

“If we want to be at that level we’ve got to play teams like this.

“We know we’re not going to play teams like this week-in, week-out, so if we can match them then we can see where our strengths are and where we need to improve. It’s a fantastic opportunity against a big name.”