The historic 2021-22 Barclays FA Women’s Super League campaign gets underway on Friday night and will be the biggest season yet
By Frank Smith
The landmark multi-million pound rights deal between The FA, Sky Sports and the BBC means fans will have access to more live women’s football than ever before and when you throw into the mix that any match not selected by a broadcaster will be shown on the FA Player, this season will see the women’s game in England covered like never before.
Sky Sports will be showing the top tier of women’s football for the first time, with the organisation having the chance to broadcast 44 matches, with a minimum of 35 being shown on Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Football, with some matches also shown simultaneously on Sky Sports Mix and Sky One.
The BBC will also showcase 22 live games each season during the three-year deal, with a minimum of 18 on mainstream, free-to-air channels, BBC One and BBC Two.
The landmark agreement means more money will be invested in not only the Barclays FA WSL clubs but also teams in the FA Women’s Championship and other central investments, such as the development of refereeing.
Sky Sports will broadcast the first game of the season on Friday night from 7pm, as Manchester United welcome Reading, before the BBC kick off their coverage from 1.15pm on Saturday on BBC One, when title-chasing Manchester City travel to Everton.
Sky Sports Premier League will then host its second match of the weekend from The Emirates Stadium as Arsenal welcome back-to-back Champions Chelsea on Sunday 5 September (12.30pm) – tickets for that game are available to buy here.
Additional broadcast picks have been chosen up till October – click here to search out out when your workforce might be televised.
The 2020/21 season introduced one of the thrilling title races in latest reminiscence, as Chelsea secured the Barclays FA WSL crown forward of Man Metropolis by simply two factors and solely ten factors separated the highest 4 groups.
And it appears set to be simply as eagerly contested as soon as once more as golf equipment throughout the division have strengthened this summer season, with among the world’s most fun expertise transferring to the Barclays FA WSL.
Right here we assess all 12 golf equipment heading into the brand new Barclays FA WSL season and you may see the complete listing of summer season transfers right here.
Head coach: Jonas Eidevall
Final season’s place: third
It’s truthful to say Arsenal are going to have some critical firepower this season. As if having the likes of perennial goalscorer Vivianne Miedema, England worldwide Beth Mead and a bunch of different thrilling attackers wasn’t sufficient, the membership have gone out and signed Lionesses ahead Nikita Parris from Lyon and Japan’s skilful playmaker Mana Iwabuchi, who additionally has Barclays FA WSL expertise following her spell at Aston Villa final season.
Arsenal’s CEO Vinai Venkatesham claims the membership might be investing extra money into their ladies’s workforce than ever earlier than and together with additions to the taking part in squad, there was a dedication to take a position extra in coaching amenities and workers.
The Gunners, who might be with out Dutch duo Danielle van de Donk and Jill Roord this season, have a brand new head coach within the dugout following the appointment of Jonas Eidevall from Swedish membership Rosengard and the 38-year-old has hit the bottom working, with convincing victories over FC Okzhetpes and PSV within the Champions League already this season.
What was stated
Eidevall informed Arsenal’s website: “You possibly can see it’s a very high quality squad, the way in which the gamers are snug with the ball is actually, actually good. They’re very desirous to be taught and really clever.
“Although we don’t have a lot time, I can see the gamers choosing issues up actually shortly and it makes me really feel actually snug. Even when time is restricted for us, we’ve got good gamers.”
Only one week till the @BarclaysFAWSL restarts! ❤️
Come and be part of us at Emirates Stadium, Gooners 👋
— Arsenal Ladies (@ArsenalWFC) August 29, 2021
Supervisor: Carla Ward
Final season’s place: tenth
This summer season has been considered one of big transition for Aston Villa. With Marcus Bignot’s interim reign as supervisor coming to an finish, the Villains appointed Carla Ward, following her departure from native rivals Birmingham Metropolis.
There have additionally been a lot of different important departures, together with sporting director and former England worldwide Eniola Aluko plus 11 gamers.
However Ward has made a bunch of signings from Barclays FA WSL sides, together with three from former membership Birmingham Metropolis, with one being proficient goalkeeper Hannah Hampton, who acquired her first England call-up final yr. One other thrilling new arrival is Switzerland ahead Alisha Lehmann, who joins from West Ham United.
What was stated
Ward informed Villa’s website: “Alisha comes with each expertise and an unbelievable quantity of potential. At 22, Alisha has already proven in latest seasons that she will be able to mild up any WSL recreation.
“I am delighted she’s put pen to paper and I am wanting ahead to working along with her. Alisha’s a very thrilling addition to the group.”
“As soon as I spoke to Villa, I realised it is a membership going just one approach.”
— Barclays FA Ladies’s Tremendous League (@BarclaysFAWSL) August 30, 2021
Supervisor: Scott Sales space
Final season’s place: eleventh
This season might be considered one of change for Birmingham Metropolis. After seven years at Solihull Moors’ Damson Park, the Blues might be taking part in their matches at St Andrew’s this season and also will have a brand new supervisor heading into the Barclays FA WSL marketing campaign within the form of former Scotland worldwide and Glasgow Metropolis boss Scott Sales space, who gained the league title 5 occasions and guided the membership to the Champions League quarter-finals throughout six years in cost.
The lack of Hampton to rivals Villa can have come as a blow however they’ve appeared to exchange the England teen with Manchester United loanee Emily Ramsey and one other acquainted face in Braga’s Marie Hourihan, who helped the Blues to consecutive second-place finishes in FA WSL and an FA Cup win throughout her spell on the membership between 2010 and 2013, earlier than transferring on to Chelsea.
Metropolis have additionally strengthened with the additions of a number of gamers from north of the border or abroad. Sales space tapped into his data of the Scottish market by bringing in Celtic duo Sarah Ewens and Lisa Robertson, whereas Denmark defender Cecilie Sandvej arrives from French aspect Fleury and former Arsenal centre again Louise Quinn joins from Fiorentina.
What was stated
Sales space informed Metropolis’s website: “It will likely be an honour to steer the workforce at each St Andrew’s and on the street within the league, together with the cup competitions wherein Blues have a practice of success.
“I’m excited to start out working inside the current infrastructure and constructing a aspect that the supporters might be pleased with. After a season the place the followers have been restricted to following from house, rewarding their loyal assist with one thing to shout about is vitally essential.”
All of it begins on Saturday! 👊
— Birmingham Metropolis Ladies (@BCFCwomen) August 30, 2021
Brighton & Hove Albion
Supervisor: Hope Powell
Final season’s place: sixth
Brighton head into the 2021-22 season with a slimmed down squad, following the departure of 12 gamers, however crucially they’ve managed to carry on to a few of their key property and have strengthened with a few gamers pushing for England recollects.
The Seagulls proceed to be led by former England ladies’s supervisor Hope Powell, final season’s prime scorer, Dutch midfielder Inessa Kaagman, has signed a brand new contract following her time at Tokyo 2020, and South Korea worldwide Geummin Lee has made her mortgage transfer everlasting.
Powell has additionally boosted the ranks with the mortgage signing of Liverpool’s pacey winger Rinsola Babajide, who was known as up by England for a coaching squad for the primary time in September 2020, and in addition ex-Arsenal striker Danielle Carter, who after struggling two ACL accidents in 2018 and 2019 desires so as to add to her Lionesses caps after remaining injury-free at Studying final season.
What was stated
Carter informed Brighton’s web site: “I might like to get again concerned with the England set-up. I’ve acquired an eye fixed on it, however I do know that can solely come about if I’m performing on the prime of my recreation for Brighton. If I play effectively, hopefully I get that shot once more.”
Earlier than including: “The group will get on so effectively, it was the very first thing I observed. Everybody is actually tight and really supportive. When issues get a bit gritty, no one is slacking off, we demand the very best from one another and that togetherness we’ve got permits for that to occur.”
“We are able to’t look ahead to it and we need to get a great end result for them.” 🤞@MeganConnolly4 is wanting ahead to beginning our @BarclaysFAWSL marketing campaign on Sunday in entrance of followers on the Amex! 💬 #BHAFC
— Brighton & Hove Albion Ladies (@BHAFCWomen) August 31, 2021
Supervisor: Emma Hayes
Final season’s place: 1st
The place do you begin with this Chelsea aspect? Again-to-back Barclays FA WSL title winners, Championship League finalists, FA Ladies’s Continental Tyres League Cup holders, the Barclays FA WSL Supervisor of the 12 months within the dugout, the FA WSL Participant of the 12 months winner Fran Kirby in assault…and worst of all for the remainder of the league, they’ve gone and strengthened even additional this summer season.
The Blues paid what Manchester United described as a report charge between Barclays FA WSL golf equipment once they signed ahead Lauren James for £200,000 plus add-ons this summer season, in a swap which is able to see the 19-year-old reunited on the membership along with her brother and England worldwide Reece.
And as if signing considered one of England’s most proficient younger gamers wasn’t sufficient, Chelsea have additionally recruited Dutch defender Aniek Nouwen on a three-year deal from PSV. The 22-year-old already has greater than 100 membership appearances, has 14 caps for the senior Netherlands aspect and was a part of their squad at Tokyo 2020.
What was stated
Reece James informed Chelsea: “She [Lauren] is an attacking participant – direct, robust, highly effective, can play with each ft. She’s acquired just a few abilities as effectively. I’m actually pleased with the place she’s acquired to and I do know she will be able to nonetheless go a lot additional. I do know that, with time, she’ll push on rather more.”
Lauren added: “The membership have nice ambitions, they all the time need to win trophies, it’s a part of the DNA right here. I’m wanting ahead to becoming a member of and hopefully we are able to get the Champions League this yr.”
The Chelsea boss spoke to our followers over on The fifth Stand app forward of tonight’s match and their had been loads of fascinating subjects mentioned… 💬
Check out what she needed to say!
— Chelsea FC Ladies (@ChelseaFCW) August 27, 2021
Supervisor: Wilie Kirk
Final season’s place: fifth
Former Manchester United assistant Willie Kirk has taken the reins at Everton and has spent the summer season strengthening each space of the pitch, because the membership set their sights on securing Champions League soccer and silverware. There are two new members of the goalkeepers’ union in Courtney Brosnan and Cecilia Ran Runarsdottir, whereas forward of them might be Sweden worldwide Nathalie Bjorn – considered one of three gamers signed from Rosenborg this summer season – and Leonie Maier, the skilled Germany full-back introduced in from Arsenal.
Midfield has been boosted by the arrivals of not solely France worldwide midfielder Kenza Dali, Italy’s Aurora Galli, who Everton’s sporting director Sarvar Ismailov described because the ‘lacking piece of the puzzle’ following Damaris Egurrola’s departure for Lyon in January, but additionally Sweden’s rising star Hanna Bennison, who was signed for a membership report six-figure sum regardless of being simply 18 years outdated.
Anna Anvegard, who like Bjorn and Bennison gained silver at Tokyo 2020, is one other new arrival and Everton followers can have been delighted to see the return of England worldwide Toni Duggan, who began her profession with the Toffees earlier than happening to attain success with Manchester Metropolis, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.
What was stated
Duggan informed EvertonTV: “It feels so good to be again house. That is the membership I began out at once I was youthful. To be again right here now, it’s an incredible feeling. As quickly as I knew I might return to Everton, I used to be coming again.”
Earlier than including: “It could be a dream come true if I can get Everton again within the Champions League. That’s the place this membership belongs and I do know we are able to obtain it. I’m right here now, I’m again in blue and hopefully I can provide again to the membership what they gave me.”
📣 𝙂𝙚𝙩 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙩𝙞𝙘𝙠𝙚𝙩𝙨! 📣
— Everton Ladies (@EvertonWomen) August 18, 2021
Supervisor: Jonathan Morgan
Final season’s place: 1st in FA Ladies’s Championship
Leicester Metropolis are a membership on the rise. After turning skilled final summer season, the ladies’s aspect moved into the lads’s workforce’s elite coaching floor at Belvoir Drive after Brendan Rodgers’ squad moved to a brand new facility in December after which capped off a exceptional yr with promotion to the Barclays FA WSL for the primary time of their existence.
The Foxes made Championship historical past by profitable 12 video games on the bounce on their option to recording 16 victories and simply two defeats in the course of the course of the 20-game season, scoring a powerful 54 targets within the course of.
Metropolis will play the vast majority of their matches this season on the King Energy Stadium and followers will have the ability to watch seven new signings, with a duo of arrivals from every of Everton, Birmingham Metropolis and Manchester United, with England defender Abbie McManus and ahead Jess Sigsworth each making the swap from the Pink Devils.
What was stated
Leicester Metropolis chief government Susan Whelan informed the Foxes website: “The soccer membership is dedicated to drive ahead the event of ladies’s soccer in Leicestershire and we imagine this (taking part in on the King Energy) might be a major step in that journey.
“The workforce have already skilled taking part in at King Energy Stadium final season once they lifted the FA Ladies’s Championship trophy after a superb marketing campaign they usually now have an opportunity to create extra historical past in entrance of Leicester Metropolis supporters.”
We are able to’t wait so that you can be part of us at King Energy Stadium this season! 🏟
— LCFC Ladies (@LCFC_Women) August 28, 2021
Supervisor: Gareth Taylor
Final season’s place: 2nd
Manchester Metropolis’s trio of US stars – Abby Dahlkemper, Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis – could have departed however Gareth Taylor has made 5 new signings as he appears to information his aspect to the Barclays FA WSL title, having completed simply two factors under Chelsea final day trip and ending up as runners-up for the final 4 seasons.
The addition of Jamaica striker Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw could possibly be one of many key signings of the summer season. The 24-year-old was prime scorer within the French Division 1 Female final season, discovering the online 24 occasions in 21 appearances in all competitions, and can be Jamaica’s all-time report scorer, with 42 targets in 30 outings.
Metropolis have additionally landed one other coup in former Barcelona captain Vicky Losada. The 30-year-old is already an FA Cup and FA WSL Cup winner following her earlier two-year spell in England with Arsenal and final season helped her beloved Barca to a European and home treble. Australian duo Alanna Kennedy and Hayley Raso have additionally arrived from Spurs and Everton respectively, in addition to 17-year-old Ruby Mace from Arsenal.
What was stated
Shaw informed Metropolis’s website: “I grew up as a Metropolis fan and I even have some members of the family who dwell in Manchester. Once I informed them about my transfer, they had been so completely satisfied and excited.
“I’ve all the time watched the English recreation and it’s one thing that I’ve all the time wished to be part of. The Barclays FA WSL is rising and creating tremendously and I really feel as if that is the right transfer for me.”
Head coach: Marc Skinner
Place final season: 4th
Manchester United might be heading into new territory this season, as they go right into a marketing campaign with out England legend Casey Stoney within the dugout. Stoney was United’s head coach once they relaunched within the FA Ladies’s Championship in 2018 and after guiding the membership to promotion of their first season, adopted it up with back-to-back fourth-place finishes in Barclays FA WSL.
Marc Skinner is the person tasked with changing Stoney and he can have to take action with out prime scorer Lauren James, following her report transfer to Chelsea, and in addition US stars Tobin Heath and Christen Press, with Amy Turner one other who has headed stateside by becoming a member of Orlando Pleasure.
United have made 5 signings this summer season, throughout all areas of the pitch. Ex-Bristol Metropolis goalkeeper Sophie Baggaley is joined by England defender Hannah Blundell from Chelsea and Aoife Mannion from rivals Man Metropolis, whereas Norway midfielder Vilde Boe Risa is one other new arrival, together with former West Ham ahead Martha Thomas.
What was stated
Skinner informed United’s web site: “That (being named Man United head coach) sounds the very best, I imply that’s solely rivalled by me seeing my daughter after such an extended time period or my companion. To have the privilege to be concerned and to be the top coach of a workforce reminiscent of Manchester United, it’s a beautiful day in my life. One which I’m going to cherish for the remainder of my life.”
Earlier than including: “We’ve acquired such an awesome form of vibe and vitality round this membership, that I need to galvanise and I need to proceed to drive it into the path it must be, to be as profitable as this membership might be, as a result of it has the flexibility to be probably the most profitable membership on the earth.”
We’ve got launched our ladies’s workforce squad numbers for the 2021/22 marketing campaign 🔢
— Manchester Metropolis (@ManCity) August 31, 2021
Head coach: Kelly Chambers
Place final season: seventh
Studying followers needed to say goodbye to one of many true greats of the English recreation this summer season after Fara Williams hung up her boots. And it wasn’t the one important departure from the Madejski Stadium, as fellow midfielder Angharad James joined North Carolina Braveness and a lot of different gamers, reminiscent of Molly Bartrip, Lauren Bruton and Kristine Leine, left for pastures new.
However the Royals have additionally appeared to strengthen, notably within the attacking areas. Together with Bristol Metropolis’s defensive duo Faye Bryson and Gemma Evans, and Tottenham midfielder Chloe Peplow, Kelly Chambers has attracted three attackers with worldwide pedigree, together with Belgium’s Justine Vanhaevermaet.
Deanne Rose additionally arrives from the College of Florida, contemporary from profitable gold with Canada at Tokyo 2020, and there may be additionally a return to the Barclays FA WSL for the primary time since 2016 for Natasha Dowie. After serving to Liverpool to back-to-back FA WSL titles and claiming a golden boot within the course of, the 32-year-old has hung out within the US, Australia, Sweden and Norway earlier than netting 14 targets in 24 appearances for AC Milan final season.
What was stated
Dowie informed the BBC: “You see the likes of Chelsea reaching the Champions League closing and all the highest gamers need to play in England. It is the league to be at. There are numerous nice leagues on the earth with prime gamers in, however it’s England the gamers are getting drawn to.
“I need to see how I stand now. I’ve learnt loads. I’ve modified as an individual and a participant. I am excited by the chance for video games to be on TV and it is right down to us to showcase the ladies’s recreation.”
💪 “It’s a large recreation to start out the season with, and it’s one we’re all wanting ahead to. For me, this has been my most pleasing pre-season to this point.”@gracemoloney appears forward to the approaching season, discussing pre-season, Bearwood Park and beginning life dwell on @SkySports! 🧤 pic.twitter.com/n6jNWd7ZyP
— Studying FC Ladies (@ReadingFCWomen) August 27, 2021
Supervisor: Rehanne Skinner
Place final season: eighth
This summer season has been considered one of transformation for Tottenham, as a minimum of 12 gamers departed the membership and the arrivals stood at double figures additionally. Australian defender Alanna Kennedy (Manchester Metropolis) and striker Rianna Dean (Liverpool) are amongst these to go away north London this summer season.
Spurs’ recruitment has been huge ranging to say the least. From again to entrance, youthful to older, home to abroad, Rehanne Skinner has been busy. Vastly skilled Finland goalkeeper Tinja-Riika Korpela might see proficient teenage defender Asmita Ale in entrance of her at occasions this season, following her transfer from Aston Villa. While France worldwide midfielder Maeva Clemaron is one other to hitch from a Barclays FA WSL membership in Everton.
However it’s in assault the place Spurs may see the most important change. England ahead Chioma Ubogagu joins after two years at Actual Madrid, Australia’s centurion Kyah Simon has signed from PSV and China’s prolific striker Tang Jiali arrives from Shanghai Shengli. The membership have additionally made the mortgage transfer of South Korea captain Cho So-hyun everlasting from West Ham.
What was stated
Skinner informed Spurs’ web site: “Once I took the function on at Spurs (in November) we had been very focussed on the path of journey of the membership and the journey we’re on. It was an enormous a part of the attraction for me coming into Spurs to have the chance to have an effect and make a change.
“We’ve labored extremely arduous in the course of the off season to recruit gamers who we imagine will assist us go to that subsequent degree. That has taken a whole lot of adjustments, together with gamers and workers recruited. We’ve made signings that, as a membership, we’re actually enthusiastic about, and I hope the followers will really feel the identical.”
Our @BarclaysFAWSL marketing campaign begins on Saturday! 🤩
⏱️ 3pm kick-off (UK time)
🏟️ Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Safe your seat right here, Spurs followers! ⤵️
— Tottenham Hotspur Ladies (@SpursWomen) August 30, 2021
West Ham United
Head coach: Oli More durable
Place final season: ninth
This summer season was Olli More durable’s first off season with the Hammers and he has actually been busy, with 11 gamers leaving the membership and the identical quantity coming in. A few of these to depart embody France midfielder Kenza Dali, Australia star Emily van Egmond, Switzerland worldwide Alisha Lehmann and Maz Pacheco, who has joined Aston Villa.
Japan’s artistic midfielder Yui Hasegawa is a type of to reach, having spent final season at AC Milan, whereas Australia’s skilled midfielder Tameka Yallop, New Zealand’s Olympian Anna Leat and Zaneta Wyne are amongst these to reach from abroad, as has Arsenal academy graduate Lucy Parker, who turned down the possibility to play for Kansas Metropolis after being the sixteenth general draft choose in January in favour of a transfer again to London.
The Hammers have additionally strengthened with signings from a number of Barclays FA WSL golf equipment. Lisa Evans arrives on mortgage from Arsenal, Birmingham Metropolis ahead Claudia Walker joins, as does midfielder Abbey-Leigh Stringer from Everton, and so do kids Brooke Cairns and Grace Garrad.
What was stated
Hasegawa informed the Hammers website: “My first impressions right here at West Ham United are that the amenities are superb and the women look like an awesome group. I’m actually excited to get began right here in England. The extent of talent on this nation may be very excessive and it’s a very aggressive league.
“I might describe myself as a really bodily participant. I wish to get across the pitch and put strain on my opponent. I hope I can have a profitable time right here at West Ham.”
All give attention to #BHAWHU 💪
— West Ham United Ladies (@westhamwomen) August 30, 2021