FA WSL SEASON KICKS OFF TOMORROW
The new FA Women’s Super League (FA WSL) season kicks off tomorrow [Wednesday 23 March], with both divisions returning to action.
Clubs and players are gearing up for the season with 17 fixtures taking place in the opening week. In FA WSL 1 last season’s FA WSL 2 title winners Reading will travel to two-time champions Arsenal for their curtain-raiser on Wednesday. 2015 runners-up Manchester City will host Notts County with commentary live on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, while Liverpool will face Birmingham City.
The following day, Chelsea, last season’s champions, will take on top-division newcomers Doncaster Rovers Belles at the Keepmoat Stadium, with the game live on BT Sport 1 from 7.15pm.
In FA WSL 2, promoted Sheffield FC will host Durham on Wednesday 23 March. Newly-named Bristol City, who were relegated from FA WSL 1, welcome Yeovil Town while London Bees host Watford. The next day [Thursday 24 March] Everton will play Aston Villa and Millwall Lionesses will travel to Oxford United.
There will also be eight ties played across Easter weekend with full match and ticket information at http://www.fawsl.com/.
FA director of football participation and development Kelly Simmons said: “This is a pivotal year for The FA WSL as we look to build on the great momentum, awareness and attendances that the league generated in 2015.
“A strong FA WSL will really lay the foundations for success elsewhere in the women’s game – from a winning England team to inspiring more girls and women to take up playing football at any level.
“There has been a real excitement in the room today about the new season and I know the players can’t wait to get started. I’m sure that this season will bring more of the exciting, entertaining and quality football that our supporters have come to expect.”
Download every FA WSL fixture to your calendar with eCal via: https://bit.ly/1QpYz5y
Wednesday 23 March
FA WSL 1
· Manchester City v Notts County 7.00pm
· Liverpool v Birmingham City 7.30pm
· Arsenal v Reading 7.45pm
FA WSL 2
· Bristol City v Yeovil Town 7.00pm
· Sheffield FC v Durham 7.00pm
· London Bees v Watford 7.45pm
Thursday 24 March
FA WSL 1
· Doncaster Rovers Belles v Chelsea 7.45pm
FA WSL 2
· Everton v Aston Villa 7.30pm
· Oxford United v Millwall Lionesses 7.45pm
Saturday 26 March
FA WSL 1
· Sunderland v Reading 6.00pm
· Bristol City v Sheffield FC 6.00pm
Sunday 27 March
FA WSL 2
· Aston Villa v Oxford United 2.00pm
· Millwall Lionesses v Everton 2.00pm
· Watford v Yeovil Town 2.00pm
Monday 28 March
FA WSL 1
· Chelsea v Liverpool 2.00pm
· Manchester City v Arsenal 3.00pm
FA WSL 2
· Durham v London Bees 12.00pm
ENGLAND WOMEN TO PLAY EUROS QUALIFIER AT ADAMS PARK
England Women’s Euro qualifier against Serbia in June will be played at Wycombe Wanderers’ Adams Park Stadium.
Mark Sampson’s side will play Serbia on Saturday 4 June (5.30pm KO) in the first match of a double-header in their UEFA Women’s 2017 European Championship qualifying campaign.
The Lionesses will then travel to Serbia for the reverse fixture which will take place on Tuesday 7 June. England have a 100 per cent record in their campaign so far.
Tickets for the game are on sale now, priced £7.50 for adults and £3.50 for children. A family ticket priced £15 (two adults and two children) is available and group booking and Charter Standard discounts apply.
Tickets can be bought via http://www.wwfc.com/ or by calling 01494 441 118.
Adams Park is the new home of FA Women’s Super League (FA WSL) 1 side Reading and the stadium played host to The FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup Final in 2014 – where Manchester City beat Arsenal 1-0 thanks to an Izzy Christiansen goal.
England captain Steph Houghton said: “I’ve got great memories of Adams Park after winning The FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup there so I’m looking forward to going back with England.
“Serbia will be a tough game and it’s important that we keep building on the momentum of this qualifying campaign and keep developing as a team to put us in the best possible position to compete at the Euros next year.
“Our supporters play a big part in that and we hope to see another good crowd in Wycombe in June.”
Wycombe Wanderers’ chairman Andrew Howard said: “It’s a massive coup for us to attract such a prestigious fixture to Adams Park and we’re excited to be hosting the England Women for an important qualifying fixture.
“For us this represents an opportunity to showcase our excellent facilities and we look forward to welcoming supporters of English football for what promises to be a great evening of entertainment.
“We also hope this fixture will capture the imagination of Wycombe fans and the people of High Wycombe, as we’d love to fill Adams Park and give the Lionesses as much support as possible.”
England’s next match is another Euro qualifier, against Belgium at the AESSEAL New York Stadium in Rotherham on Friday 8 April. Tickets can be bought via www.TheFA.com/Tickets or by calling 08444 140 754.
Please visit www.TheFA.com/England for more information.
MARLEY NAMES ENGLAND WOMEN’S U19s SQUAD FOR ELITE ROUND
Mo Marley has named her England squad for next month’s UEFA Women’s U19s Championship elite qualifying round.
All but two players – Paula Howells and Megan Finnigan – were part of the group that played three friendlies in La Manga earlier this month.
The Young Lionesses will fly to Linköping in Sweden for matches against Austria (on Tuesday 5 April), Belgium (Thursday 7 April) and the host nation (Sunday 10 April).
The top-placed team will qualify for the Finals, which will take place in Slovakia in July.
Marley guided England to Euro glory in 2009 with a squad containing current senior team stars Lucy Bronze, Gilly Flaherty, Jordan Nobbs, Demi Stokes, Jade Moore, Toni Duggan and Izzy Christiansen.
Goalkeepers: Sandy MacIver (Manchester City), Sian Rogers (Arsenal)
Defenders: Megan Finnigan (Everton), Grace Fisk (Millwall Lionesses), Gabrielle George (Everton), Paula Howells (London Bees), Mayumi Pacheco (Liverpool), Eloise Wilson (Bristol City)
Midfielders: Emma Kelly (Sunderland), Jenna Legg (Chelsea), Chloe Peplow (Birmingham City), Mollie Rouse (Aston Villa), Sophie Stamp (Hull City), Leah Williamson (Arsenal)
Forwards: Rinsola Babajide (Millwall Lionesses), Evie Clarke (Arsenal), Lucy Loomes (Millwall Lionesses), Atlanta Primus (Yeovil Town).
YOUNG LIONESSES SQUAD NAMED FOR EURO QUALIFIERS
John Griffiths has named his England Women’s Under-17s squad for the final round of Euro qualifiers later this month.
The Young Lionesses will travel to Serbia for matches against the host nation (on Thursday 24 March), Iceland (Saturday 26 March) and Belgium (Tuesday 29 March).
The team that tops the group will make it through to the eight-team Finals, which will take place in Belarus in May.
All 18 players were in USA last month for three testing friendly matches, against the hosts, Japan and South Korea.
Goalkeepers: Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City), Katie Startup (Gillingham)
Defenders: Flo Allen (Bristol Academy), Taylor Hinds (Arsenal), Lois Joel (Chelsea), Anna Patten (Arsenal), Kelsey Pearson (Blackburn Rovers), Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal)
Midfielders: Hannah Cain (Sheffield United), Niamh Charles (Liverpool), Anna Filbey (Arsenal), Laura Hooper (Arsenal), Hollie Olding (Brighton &Hove Albion), Grace Smith (Aston Villa), Georgia Stanway (Manchester City), Ella Toone (Blackburn Rovers)
Forwards: Ellie Brazil (Birmingham City), Alessia Russo (Chelsea).
TIES DRAWN FOR SSE WOMEN’S FA CUP QUARTER FINALS
Thirteen-time winners Arsenal will take on last season’s runners-up Notts County in the SSE Women’s FA Cup quarter final.
The last-eight draw was made at Wembley Stadium yesterday and holders Chelsea were pitched at home against Aston Villa.
Meanwhile Sunderland will host FA WSL 1 newcomers Reading and FA Women’s Premier League side, Sporting Club Albion will travel to Manchester City.
The four ties are scheduled to take place on Sunday 3 April.
This year’s SSE Women’s FA Cup Final will take place at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 14 May and thanks to The FA’s partnership with SSE, all children will be able to attend for free.
Adult tickets are priced £15 and group bookings and charter standard discounts are also available. Tickets can be purchased via TheFA.com/Tickets or by calling 0844 826 2010.
· Arsenal v Notts County
· Chelsea v Aston Villa
· Manchester City v Sporting Club Albion
· Sunderland v Reading
· Wednesday 23 March – Former Everton and England defender Lindsay Johnson will be at the Academy Stadium in Manchester, for BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra’s coverage of Manchester City v Notts County
· Thursday 24 March – Sheffield FC’s Emma Lipman will attend St Aidan’s Church of England High School for a training session