FA WSL 1 TITLE RACE TO BE DECIDED THIS WEEKEND
Chelsea and Manchester City will take the FA Women’s Super League (FA WSL) 1 title race to the last day of the season after both secured wins at the weekend.
Chelsea are two points ahead of Manchester City before their title-deciding matches on Sunday 4 October.
Both teams are at home with Chelsea hosting Sunderland at Staines Town FC while Manchester City will play Notts County at The Academy Stadium. Chelsea’s game will be live on BT Sport 1, with coverage also including live goals and updates from Manchester.
Elsewhere, relegated Bristol Academy will look to end their season on a positive note when they host Liverpool, while Birmingham City will travel to Arsenal. All matches kick off at 6pm.
In FA WSL 2, Doncaster Rovers Belles and Reading secured promotion to FA WSL 1, subject to meeting league licensing criteria, with both teams recording wins on Sunday.
Doncaster Belles will host Oxford United on Saturday while Reading will travel to Millwall Lionesses on Sunday as both bid to become FA WSL 2 champions.
In other Sunday games, Durham welcome Watford, Aston Villa face Yeovil Town and London Bees take on Everton. Full match and ticket information can be found at www.fawsl.com.
BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra will have live commentary of Chelsea v Sunderland. Follow the FA WSL 1 final day action on Twitter via @FAWSL and @FA.
FA WSL CONTINENTAL TYRES CUP MATCHES CONFIRMED
Details for two FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup knock-out stage ties have been agreed.
Arsenal’s Quarter-Final match against Manchester City has been rescheduled for Thursday 1 October.
Holders City will travel to Boreham Wood FC where both teams will look to secure a place in the Semi-Finals, where they would face Birmingham City. Tickets for the match, which will kick off at 7.45pm, are priced at £6 for adults and £3 for adults.
The following week, Notts County will travel to Liverpool on Sunday 11 October in the first of the Semi-Final ties.
The match will be played at Select Security Stadium in Widnes (6.30pm KO) and tickets are available at £5 for adults and £2.50 for children. Tickets for the Quarter and Semi-Final matches can be bought via http://www.ticketstores.co.uk/fawsl/.
This year’s Final will take place at the AESSEAL New York Stadium in Rotherham on Sunday 1 November (3pm KO).
Tickets are on sale now for the Final priced £5 for adults and £2.50 for children. A family ticket (two adults and two children) is available at £10 while group booking and Charter Standard club discounts also apply.
Tickets for The Final can be bought at www.rotherhamunitedshop.co.uk or by telephone on 08444 10754.
The second Semi-Final will be scheduled once the outcome of the Quarter-Final is known.
Continental Tyres is one of The FA’s five women’s football commercial partners and have sponsored the Cup since the beginning of the competition. More information can be found at www.contisoccerworld.com.
CAITLIN LEACH HOPES TO FOLLOW IN MARY EARP’S FOOTSTEPS
Mary Earps’ inclusion in the England Women’s squad this month will give hope to young goalkeepers coming through the Lionesses’ ranks, says U19s international Caitlin Leach.
Bristol Academy stopper Earps replaced the injured Siobhan Chamberlain in Mark Sampson’s squad for their opening Euro 2017 qualifier – an 8-0 win over Estonia in Tallinn.
And Leach, who recently represented England at the U19 Euro Finals in Israel, believes Earps’ call-up will help inspire the next generation. She said: “We all want to play for the seniors, that’s our ultimate goal, so it’s nice seeing Mary get the nod.
“There are some very good young keepers coming through so the competition for places keeps us going.
“Personally, I want to kick on. My target is obviously to get into the seniors. I know there is still a lot of work to be done before I get there but that is my aim.”
Leach impressed in Israel, and although Mo Marley’s side failed to get out of the group, the goalkeeper’s performances were good enough to be named in UEFA’s team of the tournament, alongside team-mate Jodie Brett.
Leach said: “It was very disappointing to not get through the group, but to be selected for the team of the tournament is one of the highlights of my career so far. The first I heard of it was when I saw it on Twitter and I was buzzing. People had said to me that I had done quite well and I was happy with how I performed, it was just a shame we couldn’t go further.”
Leach is one England youngster who has benefitted from Sportsaid funding.
Sportsaid helps young British athletes overcome financial challenges they face as they bid to reach the top of their respective sport. Sir Chris Hoy, Sir Bradley Wiggins and Dame Sarah Storey have been recipients of Sportsaid funding in recent years – and Leach said she found the support invaluable.
She explained: “It helps me if I need to buy new boots or gloves or with travel costs, so I’ve found it really, really helpful. It’s a great facility to have and I know a few other players have found it useful too.
“It’s great that Sportsaid are willing to help young athletes develop and help them in the early stages of their careers.”
FA GIRLS’S FOOTBALL WEEK REGISTRATION OPEN
Schools, universities and clubs are being encouraged to register for the FA Girls’ Football Week which takes place next week.
The week has been created to enable more educational institutions to run female-specific football sessions.
The week will run from 5-11 October and has been developed from the success of previous Women’s Football Weeks which began in Further Education in 2012, and spread to Higher Education in 2014.
It is being delivered in partnership with Independent Schools FA, English Schools FA, Association of Colleges Sport and British Universities and Colleges Sport.
This year the programme has been extended to include primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities along with clubs and community groups who are also invited to participate.
In 2014, more than 2,000 people took part in the sessions across 80 institutions. It is aimed that this year, 5,000 girls and women will play football during the week.
Women’s football is the largest female team sport in the country and the third largest team sport after men’s football and cricket. During the FIFA Women’s World Cup, The FA launched #WeCanPlay, a campaign to encourage more females to play football.
The FA is sharing free-to-use promotional resources to participating schools and institutions, which can be downloaded below. Ideas for events/sessions can be found here.
FA women’s football national project manager Polly Fildes said: “This year has seen real change and momentum in women’s football, especially with the success of the Lionesses at this summer’s World Cup, and we wanted to build on that by extending the programme.
“We want as many schools, colleges and universities to provide opportunities for their female students to play football during our national week of action and we have created the tools and materials provided to make it as easy as possible for them to do so.
“We have seen some real success stories across the country with our Women’s Football Weeks, with women not just trying, but continuing to play football, and we’re hoping for the same next month.
“We may even find the next generation of Lionesses.”
England and Arsenal defender Alex Scott said: “It’s great to see that there is a new week dedicated to getting more girls to play football.
“Anything that gives people the opportunity and confidence to try football is really important.
“As England players, we are always happy to see girls taking part in football and want to use our platform to inspire more people to play.”
Further information, relevant to the appropriate age group, can be found at:
Participating institutions are encouraged to complete a survey about their planned activity, which will also enter them into a draw to win a visit from an England player and a signed England shirt. The survey can be found here.
FA LAUNCHES COMPREHENSIVE NEW GRASSROOTS FOOTBALL SURVEY
The FA has launched the most comprehensive survey of grassroots football it has ever undertaken.
Contributions are being sought from players, coaches, referees as well as the staff and volunteers that form the 400,000-strong grassroots football workforce, and will give the fullest picture yet of the experiences and views of those involved in the national game.
FA Chief Executive Martin Glenn said: “We are on the cusp of a real revolution within grassroots football and, as we move forward, it is vital we ensure that we are listening to those that it impacts upon directly.
“Our new four year strategy has been designed to be adaptable to ensure that we are able to meet the key objectives we have set. This will be achieved through listening as well as acting.
“The grassroots football audience consists of a cross section of diverse communities and this survey will help us ensure we service these groups efficiently via a range of methods, from inclusion initiatives to implementing technology.
“And, as we build on the increases in boys and girls participation and growth in disability football, feedback from such a large sample group will help us refine our goals and targets.”
· Thursday 1 Oct – Doncaster Rovers Belles forward Sue Smith will be at the SSE Leadership Conference in Edinburgh
· Thursday 1 Oct – Oxford United Women’s players Kat Nutman and Kayleigh Hines will be at The Oxfordshire FA Girls’ Football Festival
· Thursday 1 Oct – Arsenal midfielder Leah Williamson (TBC) will be at the Cambridgeshire FA Girls’ Advanced Coaching Centre Launch Night