England’s run to the semi-finals of the World Cup has once again inspired a nation – and there has never been a better time to get involved in women’s football.
Men, women and children up and down the country have been captivated by the Lionesses’ performances in France, from their opening-day victory over Scotland to their heartbreaking last-four defeat by USA.
Football boots have been rescued from the bottom of the garden shed, old England shirts have been squeezed into for the first time in years and Ellen White’s iconic goal celebration has been copied in playgrounds across the land.
And there are many ways in which you can get involved – or stay involved – in the women’s game once France 2019 comes to an end:
Watch an elite club near you
Comprising 12 clubs, the Barclays FA WSL is the only fully professional women’s football league in Europe.
More and more world-class stars are joining English clubs, as evidenced by the 47 WSL players who represented 10 different nations at the World Cup.
The 2019-20 season gets under way over the weekend of 7/8 September with champions Arsenal hosting London rivals and Women’s FA Cup runners-up West Ham, while there is a Manchester derby to savour as United travel to City for a mouth-watering encounter.
And with match tickets and season tickets set at an affordable price across the board, an outing to a WSL match is the perfect family day out.
Season ticket info:
The FA Women’s Championship is the tier below the WSL and features 11 teams – and some famous names.
The new Championship season begins on 17/18 August with another capital clash in the offing as London Bees entertain London City Lionesses.
Season ticket info:
The full fixture list across both leagues will be released on Wednesday 10 July.
Lace up your boots
With almost three million active female players, football is the biggest women’s team sport in England – but there is plenty of room for more people to get involved.
And there are so many ways for girls and women to join in, no matter what your age or ability level, whether you just want to have a kickabout with your mates or whether you want to be the next Steph Houghton.
Do you have a pair of boots and are ready to go? Then find a club near you!
SSE Wildcats football centres offer girls aged 5-11 a chance to try football for the first time and provide regular opportunities to play.
Sessions take place on a weekly basis, either after school or at weekends, at over 1,250 SSE Wildcats centres across the country and are focused on helping girls make friends, have fun and be active through football.
All sessions are delivered by FA-qualified coaches, providing a safe place for girls to try football for the first time and develop key skills.
England’s showpiece fixture in 2019 is a BIG one as Phil Neville’s side welcome Germany to Wembley Stadium on Saturday 9 November.
Over 30,000 tickets have already been sold for this heavyweight clash and a new record crowd for a Lionesses home match (currently 45,619) is very much in sight.
As England are hosting UEFA Euro 2021 at nine venues across the country, they will not need to qualify for the finals. Instead, they are lining up a series of high-profile fixtures, with a trip to Norway in early September also in the schedule.
Passion for the Pride
The Lionesses Supporters Club is the official home of England’s faithful followers.
Sign up for free to make the most of a host of exclusive benefits – none more so than receiving priority access to home match tickets.
Other membership perks include access to a fan forum, a 10 per cent discount on Thomas Cook travel insurance and unbeatable competitions and prizes; for example, the chance to be a mascot at home matches or the chance to watch the players train at St. George’s Park.
And squad announcements, news and exclusive features will be sent straight to your inbox, bringing you closer to the team.
It’s coming home!
The FA will stage the UEFA Women’s Euro Finals in July 2021. England qualify automatically as hosts and will be joined by 15 other nations.
Fans will be able to see some of the world’s best players in action as 31 matches are played at venues across the country during the tournament.
Applications to be part of UEFA Women’s EURO 2021 volunteer programme will open in 2020.
Get on the coaching ladder
If you fancy yourself as the next Phil Neville, why not get yourself on an FA Level 1 coaching course?
This course will provide you with an introduction to coaching the game and working with players from under 7 to open age.
It is the first stepping stone on the core coaching pathway. It will provide you with an introduction to coaching the game and working with players from under 7 to open age.
You will gain insight into the game in England, how it is played and how you can coach to better support the development of future players.
More and more people of all ages, genders, races and abilities are getting into refereeing.
If you would like to become a qualified referee, your first step is to take part in a Basic Referees Course with your local County Football Association.
Simply contact the referee development officer at your local County FA to get the ball rolling. (To become a referee you must be at least 14 years old and a resident of England).
Furthermore, The FA has developed a pathway for male and female referees in the women’s game. This pathway aims to accommodate the changes to the women’s football pyramid, provide a clear route for referee progression in the women’s game and remove the fitness-test barrier that can prevent female referees from progressing.