Exciting times ahead for women's football in England
2011 is proving to be a pivotal year for women's football in this country.
The FA has launched The FA WSL, a new elite, summer league for women’s football. The FA believes the WSL will be the key platform to drive the women’s game forward in England. The WSL concept was developed to enable players in this country to earn a good living from the game whilst allowing WSL clubs to develop new revenue streams and support for women’s football.
The new semi-professional League, the top tier of women’s football, comprises eight clubs and is being played during the summer months, showcasing England’s best players. It also sees games regularly televised live alongside a weekly highlights package through broadcast partner ESPN. Continental Tyres, Umbro, Vauxhall and Yorkshire Building Society are the four main sponsors. The FA WSL is playing a pivotal role in ensuring the player pathway leads to a competitive, elite structure at the very top of the women’s game. Click here to visit The FA WSL website
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Hope Powell's England team returned from the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011 in Germany after narrowly losing out to France on penalties in the quarter final
. England’s Group B opponents Japan went on to win the World Cup with England the only team to beat the Japanese
on their way to the Final. Both Jill Scott and Alex Scott made the FIFA All-Star team
Progress to the quarter final, coupled with beating the other two World Cup medalists USA
prior to the World Cup saw England rise to a highest ever position of sixth in the FIFA World Rankings.
They qualified for Euro 2013 in September 2012 after beating Croatia 3-0 at Walsall's Banks's Stadium. It will be England's fifth straight appearance at a major Finals. Click here for the latest on the England Women's team
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The nation's No.1 female team participation sport currently has 1.38m women and girls up and down the country playing the game regularly. Sport England’s Active People survey in 2011 highlighted that 275,300 adult women play some form of football in England. This demonstrates that women's football is now the third largest team sport behind only men's football and men's cricket. Indeed, FIFA has recently confirmed that there are 29m females playing football across the world. Click here to see the current trends in women's football
Mixed football has now been extended to children up to U13s. 42 per cent of the 2.5m children to participate in The FA Tesco Skills programme in the last three years are girls, while 20 per cent of the 106 Skills Coaches are female, too.
Over 27,000 females have successfully attained FA coaching qualifications (including 200 Level 3 - UEFA ‘B’ - coaches) and full-time Women’s Football Development Officers (WFDOs) are employed across the country in the County FAs to support local female football.
The number of female referees has reached 843, an increase of 12 per cent since 2008, and The FA has launched a specific Female Referees Strategy and Female Ambassador scheme.
Women’s football has a well-regarded player pathway and a strong Talent Development infrastructure. There are currently 30 licensed FA Centres of Excellence in operation across England providing weekly quality coaching and a localised fixture programme for ‘excellent’ girls from the age of 7-17. A new programme of FA Player Development Centres will start in September and will provide talented girls who play in grassroots clubs some extra support. Please click here for further information on our talent development pathway
Updated October 2012