ENGLAND legend Fara Williams said the city of Southampton “deserved” a top-level women’s football outfit and hailed the work of Saints boss Marieanne Spacey-Cale.

Saints have propelled their women’s team to the third tier of English football, with hopes of a promotion to the Championship still well intact this campaign.

Spacey-Cale’s side are in action at St Mary’s on Sunday (1pm) against second-tier Bristol City, in the fourth round of the Women’s FA Cup.

Williams, who played 172 times for the Lionesses, met the Saints squad on a Zoom call during the national lockdown.

And she insisted how it was refreshing to see Spacey-Cale driving the club forward.

Williams told the Daily Echo: “Look, Marieanne Spacey-Cale is probably the perfect suit for them and where they are at in terms of where they are trying to develop, really trying to push the women’s game.

“It’s fantastic they now have a team and I know Marieanne is desperate to get them further up the leagues and the club, as a whole, invested to get them into the top leagues and put their name and their brand right up there in terms of the women’s game.

“It deserves it. The city deserves it, you know?

“It would be good to get one of the women’s sides from this side of England playing in the top league.”

Saints are currently third in Women’s National League South. They do however have four games in hand on leaders Ipswich and are just eight points behind.

Quizzed on what it was like to engage with Saints’ squad, Williams said: “They had questions they wanted to know about myself, how I prepared and how I stayed at the top.

“There were some questions about sports science, overtraining, undertraining, diet and stuff like that.

“I just reiterated to the girls how lucky they are now to have the women’s game in the place that it is – in terms of the facilities they have, the prep in terms of sports science and coaching.

“All of that I didn’t have as a young player, to take advantage of it. What I mean by that is use everything to hand to them.

“I would have loved to have been a young player coming through now with all those resources.”