The FA WSL first match kicks off this week with the leagues first matches scheduled for Wednesday night.
It is hoped that the new semi-professional league that will bring a major transformation to the future of women’s football. The aim is to professionalise women’s football and attract more girls and fans to the game across the country.
Local team Doncaster Rovers Belles are one of only eight teams to be selected to play in the League which will see the country’s top teams and best female players compete in summer fixtures from April to September.
The opening day of the league (Wednesday 13th April 2011) will see Chelsea Ladies take on rivals Arsenal in what promises to be a fantastic opening match which will be televised on ESPN. Lincoln Ladies play Doncaster Rovers Belles on the same day at 7.45 pm.
Major televised sports provider ESPN will be televising 5 live matches throughout the season with a weekly update show being screen every week on Tuesday evenings at 6.30pm.
ESPN will effectively help to raise the profile of the league and deliver the female game to a nationwide audience for the first time. This will hopefully help to build and sustain a positive profile for a more definite fan base for female football.
The 8 teams selected to play in the league are Arsenal LFC, Birmingham City LFC, Bristol Academy Ladies, Chelsea Ladies, Doncaster Rovers Belles, Everton LFC, Lincoln Ladies and Liverpool LFC.
The league is mainly financed by the FA which has funded over £3 million pounds to help deliver facilities, increase player opportunities and introduce support and marketing for the league to really grow and take off.
Currently top female teams have competed in the FA Women’s Premier League - a winter league which often means matches are postponed due to bad weather conditions. With the WSL matches played from April- September it is hoped more females will attend the matches and support the growth of the game.
Gemma Gale, Girls and Women’s Officer for Sheffield & Hallamshire FA commented: “Women’s football is still the fastest and biggest growing female sport in the country and this year is one of the most exciting yet as we welcome the introduction of this inspirational new league along with the FIFA Women’s World Cup. It is fantastic that Doncaster Rovers Belles are playing in the league as this is great inspiration for the girls and women across the region who participate in the game week in week out and shows them what they are capable of achieving.
The investment from the FA and media interest surrounding the league proves the game continues to thrive and move forward into bigger and better opportunities for females everywhere.”
To keep up to date with the WSL visit www.fawsl.com for all the latest news fixtures and player profiles.
Follow The FA WSL ON Twitter at http://twitter.com/FAWSL# www.facebook.com/FAWSL
and Doncaster Rovers Belles on http://www.doncasterroversbelles.co.uk/index.html