WITH his Open Goal internet television interviews, Si Ferry has cultivated an atmosphere of blokeish dressing-room banter. But, in the second of our Cool Conversations events, on April 18, at the Edinburgh Grand, Game Changers. 90 minutes of chat around the future of our beautiful game, we’re changing that formula. We’re putting Ferry on stage with a trio of women who also know how to talk about football. In a year when the Scottish women’s team has qualified for the World Cup, and, with the team set to head to France, that seems only right. Women’s football is on the rise, and part of the banter too.

Chaired by former player, coach, pundit, football executive and all-round legend, Gordon Smith, the event will begin by putting on the spot two interviewers, Ferry, and Amy Irons, sports presenter for the new BBC Scotland news show, The Nine, and daughter of footballer, Davie Irons. As the night goes on, they will be joined onstage by Joelle Murray, Scottish International footballer and captain of Hibernian ladies team, and Jacqui Low, communications expert and chairman of Partick Thistle, for a night that will tackle some hot issues. Is the media fair to women’s football? What are the changes that need to be made for the future of Scottish football? How toxic is the social media around the game?

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This is a year, says Joelle Murray, in which it’s time for the nation to really get behind the women’s team, who have already achieved amazing things under head coach, Shelley Kerr. “It’s important to inspire the nation on the back of that qualification,” Murray says. “If you can’t inspire and boost numbers within the girls and ladies’ game on the back of a World Cup tournament qualification, I don’t think you’ll do it any other time. It’s in the media spotlight. It’s on the news and in the newspapers. I think people are then taking note and realising that girls and women can actually play football.”

Murray who first started playing at the age of five, the only girl in her local boys clubs in the Borders where she grew up, firmly recommends other girls follow in her footsteps, and join local boys or mixed teams. “I say to girls that if they’ve got the opportunity to start out their footballing careers within an environment that is predominantly male or boys orientated, I would do so, because I think what it gave me was a very good platform to go on and step into the women’s game. Because obviously you’ve got the physicality of the boys’ game that you don’t see so much in the women’s game.”

Murray made her full international debut in 2007, and scored her first international goal against Northern Ireland in a May 2009 challenge match. “People often comment that the women’s game very very technical,” she says. One of the things she is hoping for is a big crowd to turn out on May 28 when they have their farewell warm-up game, versus Jamaica, at Hampden Park, in advance of going off to play in France. “We’re under no illusions that the tournament will be difficult – however we’re not going over to make up numbers, we’re going over to compete and we know that we’ve got the quality in the side to get out of the group stages and take it one game at a time thereafter.”

To book tickets, go to www.lateralcity.com/events.