New knock-out format for The FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup

Thursday 10 Dec 2015
The Conti Cup will take on a new format in the new season for 2016
Next season’s FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup will move to a knock-out format for the first time in the competition’s five-year history.

After consultation with clubs and stakeholders, the competition will now begin with a preliminary round before moving straight to knock-out from the first round.

Previously, the competition had extended group stages before moving into knock-out stages for the quarter finals. The changes have been made to increase the excitement for supporters and competitiveness of the tournament with every match counting. 


Jordan Nobbs scored two goals in this year's Continental Cup Final

The preliminary round will be seeded – with the bottom six clubs competing in three matches. These clubs are Sheffield FC, who recently won promotion into FA WSL 2 from The FA Women’s Premier League (FA WPL) and the five lowest-placed finishers in last season’s FA WSL 2 – Watford, Millwall Lionesses, London Bees, Durham and Oxford United.

The first round will also be seeded, which will see FA WSL 1 sides drawn to face FA WSL 2 sides, with the teams from the second tier given home advantage for the fixtures.

Speaking about the changes, The FA's director of participation and development Kelly Simmons revealed: "After speaking to our clubs and other stakeholders, we felt it was the right time to move to a knock-out format and reduce some of the issues we had with the competition – such as dead rubber games.

"The new format will bring the excitement of a knock-out competition but still ensure that FA WSL 2 clubs get to face FA WSL 1 opponents, providing development opportunities.

"We are confident that these changes will make for a much more competitive and exciting FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup in 2016, for both players and supporters alike.”

This year’s trophy was won by Arsenal, who beat Notts County 3-0 after a Jordan Nobbs brace and the third from Chioma Ubogagu.

The preliminary round will take place weekend of 7-8 May with the first round on 2-3 July. The final will take place in October.

Peter Robb, marketing communications manager at Continental Tyres, said: "We are really looking forward to moving into a new phase of The FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup. 

"The format for next year's competition should mean an even more exciting Cup for teams to play in and fans to enjoy.

"Having seen attendance at matches grow exponentially over recent years, we hope that this will continue to rise over the 2016 tournament and beyond.”

By FA Staff