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Women’s Super League on Sky: World-class stars, disruption of the ‘big three’ and inspiring the next generation | Football News

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WSL promo

The Women’s Super League could have a brand new house from next season on Sky Sports. From world-class stars like Lucy Bronze and Vivianne Miedema to the potential finish of the ‘large three’ – Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City – there are loads of causes to be excited.

Sky Sports has introduced a three-year cope with the FA to grow to be the major broadcaster of the WSL from September 2021.

The deal will see Sky Sports present no less than 35 video games solely stay per season and additional strengthens the broadcaster’s dedication to girls’s sport.

The WSL can be a hugely-exciting addition to the Sky Sports roster and listed below are just some explanation why you must watch later this 12 months…






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Sky Sports has introduced a three-year cope with the FA to grow to be the major broadcaster of the Barclays Women’s Super League from September 2021.

World-class stars

Vivianne Miedema

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Vivianne Miedema was the first WSL participant to attain 50 objectives in the league earlier this season

The WSL has no scarcity of well-known names. Lucy Bronze returned to Manchester City final summer season after a trophy-laden spell at Lyon. Pick a person girls’s award and Bronze has in all probability been nominated for it, with the 29-year-old considered one of the greatest full-backs in the girls’s sport.

It is tough to miss Arsenal ahead Vivianne Miedema if we’re contemplating some of the greatest. In three-and-a-half years at the membership, she has scored 87 objectives in 92 video games throughout all competitions and has scored 14 objectives in 16 WSL video games this season.

In October 2020, Miedema grew to become the first participant to attain 50 WSL objectives, overtaking the all-time league file of 49 set by Nikita Parris. She can also be the Netherlands’ highest worldwide goalscorer throughout each senior groups with 71 objectives – excess of the males’s file holder Robin van Persie (50) – and helped her nation to a runners-up spot at the 2019 World Cup.

The historical past of the WSL

  • April 2011 – The inaugural WSL season begins with an eight-team league performed by the summer season.
  • Early 2014 – A second league, WSL 2, is added with one crew relegated from the prime tier, WSL 1.
  • December 2014 – WSL 1 expanded to 10 groups whereas groups from the third tier – the Women’s Premier League – might earn promotion to WSL 2.
  • July 2016 – WSL campaigns transfer again to a winter season in keeping with the conventional English soccer calendar.
  • February to May 2017 – The FA WSL Spring Series is performed to bridge the hole between summer season and winter seasons. Each crew performed one another as soon as with Chelsea profitable WSL 1 and Everton profitable WSL 2.
  • 2017/18 season – WSL 1 reverts again to being referred to as the Women’s Super League.
  • 2018/19 season – The WSL turns into a completely skilled league and expanded to 11 groups. Each membership has to reapply for his or her licence, assembly the obligatory necessities of a minimal 16-hour contract for gamers and to type a youth academy. Brighton and West Ham have been added to the prime tier. WSL 2 is renamed as the Women’s Championship.
  • 2019/20 season – The WSL is expanded once more to 12 groups. Man Utd and Tottenham are promoted from the Championship. Yeovil Town relegated after getting into administration. Due to Covid-19, the season is ended early and determined on points-per-game. Chelsea are topped champions with Liverpool relegated.

The Netherlands have been overwhelmed 2-0 by the USA in the closing, with a quantity of the eventual winners at present enjoying in the WSL. Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis are at Man City, Christen Press and Tobin Heath are enjoying for Manchester United. Alex Morgan additionally frolicked at Tottenham earlier than returning to the USA.

That is earlier than we even point out the likes of Pernille Harder – the costliest girls’s footballer after her transfer to Chelsea in September – her membership team-mates, Sam Kerr and Fran Kirby, and the well-known England Women contingent at Man City, together with Steph Houghton, Georgia Stanway and Ellen White.

Disruption of the ‘large three’?

Chelsea's Erin Cuthbert, Sam Kerr and Fran Kirby celebrate after winning the FA Women's League Cup final

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Chelsea gained the current Women’s League Cup closing and are prime of the WSL

The WSL has lengthy been dominated by Chelsea, Arsenal and Man City – dubbed the ‘large three’ – sharing the title between them seven instances over the final 9 seasons. But there appears to be a shift occurring at the prime.

Manchester United, of their second WSL season, have been the league leaders earlier in the marketing campaign. Casey Stoney’s aspect have had a meteoric rise, having solely reformed in 2018, and are at present third – three factors forward of Arsenal. Their American arrivals have boosted the high quality already in the squad, with the likes of Lauren James and Ella Toone simply two of the gamers additionally catching the eye.

Everton additionally appear to be spoiling the occasion. Having been in and round the prime groups this season, they now sit fifth and have recruited effectively. Everton have re-signed Izzy Christensen and Jill Scott, secured Claire Emslie on a everlasting deal and landed gifted striker Valerie Gauvin, who has scored 5 WSL objectives this season.

But it’s extra probably that both Chelsea or Man City will finally win the title – Emma Hayes’ Chelsea aspect are the present leaders, however solely by two factors and one forward on objective distinction. Should the desk keep as it’s, it could be a fourth successive WSL runners-up spot for Man City, having missed out on the title final season as the league was determined on points-per-game after its suspension resulting from Covid-19.

The derbies nonetheless matter

Manchester derby

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The Manchester derby stays a aggressive fixture in the WSL

Although their historical past might not be as lengthy, there are some thrilling derbies in the WSL that may match the males’s fixtures for rivalry and memorable moments.

The final two matches to interrupt the WSL attendance file have been derby video games. In September 2019, the WSL’s inaugural Manchester derby was held at the Etihad Stadium with 31,213 spectators.

That file was then damaged two months later when Tottenham confronted Arsenal in the first north London derby in the WSL and the hosts’ first match at the spectacular Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The sport beat the earlier file by a good margin too, with 38,262 folks attending. Saturday’s north London derby in the WSL will once more be held at Tottenham, though nonetheless with out followers.

NLD

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The north London derby can be performed at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this weekend, having damaged the WSL attendance file at the similar stadium

Both fixtures have loved some entertaining current encounters too. The first Manchester derby this season was an exciting 2-2 draw as Man Utd got here from 2-0 right down to take a degree, full with some excellent objectives. Man City have been the most up-to-date winners in February, profitable 3-0 at the Academy Stadium.

While Arsenal have had the higher hand in most north London derbies up to now, they have been taken all the technique to penalties by Tottenham of their WSL Cup assembly in November. Spurs twice got here from a objective right down to safe a 2-2 draw, earlier than a dramatic shootout noticed Morgan miss the decisive spot-kick at hand Arsenal victory.

Let’s additionally not neglect about the Second City derby. Aston Villa have been promoted from the Women’s Championship final season whereas Birmingham narrowly prevented passing their rivals on the method down, ending eleventh on points-per-game. Their match in November was a tense affair gained by the Blues due to Claudia Walker’s second-half strike.

Enjoyed watching England Women?

England head coach Phil Neville talks tactics with Alex Greenwood during the FIFA Women's World Cup Third Place Play-Off at the Stade de Nice, Nice. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday July 6, 2019. See PA story SOCCER England Women. Photo credit should read: Richard Sellers/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No use with any unofficial 3rd party logos. No manipulation of images. No video emulation.

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Phil Neville’s appointment as England supervisor helped increase the profile of the girls’s sport

Let’s not downplay the position England Women have had in selling the girls’s sport. Their successes over the final 5 years have had an enormous hand in the consideration and funding that girls’s soccer has had, with many of the gamers plying their commerce in the WSL.

The Lionesses’ third-place end at the 2015 World Cup – nonetheless the highest any senior England crew has completed at a significant event since 1966 – thrust girls’s soccer into the highlight and they’ve maintained that curiosity.

Although having by no means managed earlier than, Phil Neville’s appointment in 2017 attracted consideration – folks needed to see how he would fare in his first position. That meant extra eyes on girls’s soccer and, once more, they adopted it up in excellent trend.



Hege Riise in Lillestrom, Norway, Tuesday Jan. 19, 2021. Norway’s appearance record holder, Hege Riise, will temporarily take over as coach of the England women’s national soccer team following Phil Neville’s departure. (Lise Aserud/NTB via AP)





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Courtney Sweetman-Kirk says the appointment of Hege Riise as Team GB girls’s coach was a ‘pure alternative’ and her expertise is ‘second to none’

Neville’s first process was the 2018 SheBelieves Cup wherein England completed second earlier than going on to win the event the following 12 months. He additionally led the Lionesses to a World Cup semi-final in 2019, earlier than packing out Wembley in November later that 12 months for a pleasant in opposition to Germany, with the 77,768-strong crowd the highest-ever attendance for a house worldwide girls’s sport in England.

It is a testomony to England’s success that some of the most profitable managers in the sport have been linked with the job when Neville introduced his meant departure, together with Jill Ellis and Hayes. Hege Riise has taken the reins on an interim foundation after Neville left England early to hitch Inter Miami, and will even lead Team GB at this summer season’s Olympics.

The Lionesses’ first everlasting non-British supervisor, Sarina Wiegman, will take over the position from September 2021. She is the reigning European Championship-winning coach with the Netherlands, main the nation to a runners-up spot at the 2019 World Cup, and is already focusing on comparable success with England.

Inspiring the next generation

Pernille Harder

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Pernille Harder hopes WSL gamers can encourage the next generation

You solely have to have a look at the numbers to see that the final two seasons have been big for the WSL and girls’s soccer throughout the board. More ladies are seeing gamers like themselves on TV, going an extended technique to encourage and encourage the next generation.

Harder advised WFS Live final 12 months: “When I used to be younger, there weren’t that many ladies’s gamers for me to see on the platforms or see video games on TV. Most of my idols have been really males’s gamers.

“In the final 5 years, I really feel prefer it’s actually been rising so much and many video games at the moment are on tv… So many younger ladies can watch us play and now we might be their idols as a substitute of [Lionel] Messi and [Cristiano] Ronaldo.”



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Kick It Out boss Tony Burnett tells The Women’s Football Show the males’s sport can study from the girls’s sport relating to LGBT+ inclusivity

In 2017, the FA launched the ‘Gameplan for Growth’ to strive and double feminine participation in soccer. In May this 12 months, they reached that focus on, with 3.4m females now enjoying the sport, together with a 54 per cent improve in affiliated girls’s and ladies’ groups.

Football is the greatest girls’s crew sport in England, in line with the FA, and, as already talked about, England Women have had an enormous hand in that with televised WSL video games every week absolutely a really shut second.

But it additionally takes volunteers, coaches and alternative to assist girls’s soccer develop much more as ladies proceed to interrupt down the gender boundaries in a male-dominated sport and realise they are often the next Harder, Miedema or Bronze.

Continuing assist and enchancment

Women's Championship side like Charlton and Coventry United still play in a semi-professional league

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Women’s Championship sides like Charlton and Coventry United nonetheless play in a semi-professional league

The WSL turning skilled in 2018 was a watershed second after years of part-time contracts, working a number of jobs and an absence of funding. Women’s soccer was getting the consideration it had been crying out for to make it attainable for ladies to additionally earn a residing enjoying the sport they love.

While there may be nonetheless an extended technique to go on this entrance. The Women’s Championship stays a semi-professional league with many gamers holding down full-time jobs in addition to full-time coaching and enjoying programmes – however there are enhancements occurring all the time.

In these unusual instances we live in, it is very important sustain the momentum and assist from the previous few years for a sport that’s solely rising each season. From the begin of the 2021/22 marketing campaign, that can be proper right here, stay on Sky Sports.

Watch the WSL stay on Sky Sports

WLS announcement

Sky Sports has introduced a three-year cope with the FA to grow to be the major broadcaster of the WSL from September 2021, turning into one of Sky Sports flagship choices.

The deal will see Sky Sports present no less than 35 video games solely stay per season and additional strengthens the broadcaster’s dedication to girls’s sport.

Sky Sports will now start a recruitment course of for the best-in-class on- and off-screen manufacturing crew as half of the plan to align WSL with the broadcaster’s different large sporting leagues and occasions.

The WSL will get the full Sky Sports remedy with prolonged build-ups and response to all stay matches, plus every day information from the competitors throughout Sky Sports News and Sky Sports’ digital platforms.