FA Girls Youth Cup quarter finals draw

Here is the draw, holders Liverpool are in the hat and will play their postponed 2nd round game  in the new year

Gillingham v Stoke or Liverpool
Everton or Blackburn v Aston Villa
Hampshire v Arsenal
Oxford v Birmingham

Ties to be played 7th of February


Who will be in England final 23 squad for the World Cup ?

If we analyze the data provided by the exellent tumblr http://fyfawsl.tumblr.com/tagged/engwnt for the year 2014, Mark Sampson has used 30 players overall.

Players are ranked by total of minutes played in 2014

GK 4 :  K Bardsley, S Chamberlain, C Telford and E Durack

DF 9 : A Scott, S Houghton, L Bronze, D Stokes, L Bassett, A Greenwood, G Bonner, S Bradley, C Stoney

MF 8 : F Williams, K Carney, J Nobbs, J Scott, J Moore, A Asante, K Smith, J Potter

FW 9 : T Duggan , E Aluko,L  Sanderson, N Dowie, E White, G Davison, F Kirby, J Taylor, J Clarke


There are 3 categories of players used in tournament football :

A the regulars who are guaranteed a start as the manager has put his trust on those players

B those who are competing for places and are likely to be used as a sub or when the the manager decides to rotate the squad

C the back-ups who are there to make up the numbers are unlikely to play at all in the tournament but must be ready to come on the pitch at any time should circumstances call them into action.

The biggest problem is to select the players with the right personality for categories B & C as well as the right football, history as shown time and time again in previous world cups ( mainly men’s football)  that a disunited squad will lead to failure.


Here is what I think as of today the 31st of December 2014 could/would be on the plane to Canada next Summer. Note that hierarchy can change due to loss of form or long term injury for players in the B category, C are fringe players, players in the A category at the moment are 99% guaranteed to be on the plane unless they are injured or do something really stupid.

Category A 13

GK K Bardsley, S Chamberlain

DF  A Scott, S Houghton, L Bronze, D Stokes,

MF F Williams, K Carney, J Nobbs, J Scott

FW T Duggan, E Aluko,  LSanderson


Category B  9 ( need to prove their worth throughout the next 6 months )

GK C Telford

DF L Bassett, A Greenwood

MF J Moore, J Potter

FW N Dowie, F  Kirby, J Taylor, J Clarke


Category C 8 (likely to be  fringe players in the squad if selected)

GK E Durack

DF G Bonner, S Bradley*, C Stoney

MF A Asante, K Smith

FW E White*, G Davison

*Bradley and White suffered ACL injuries so could be classed as B category players, but they have to prove in the next 6 months that they are better than those currently selected


You can also add category D ie players who did not get a game this season but could come and grab a place in the squad if they perform well next season :

GK R Spencer, M Earps, R Brown

DF D Susi, J Rose,C  Rafferty,

MF I Christiansen

FW D Carter N Parris


Things will change throughout the season and it will update this post after the USA Friendly and the Cyprus Cup.

U19 and U23 Football tourneys at La Manga

As usual teams go to Spain to enjoy a warmer weather than in England :  http://lamangaclub.com/sport/football/la-manga-club-football-programme-2015

England, Norway, Sweden and USA U23 24th Feb to 3rd of March for the usual 4 nations tournament.( girls born in 1992 and later )

Norway, Italy, Scotland, Denamark, Sweden, England, France, Ireland,  Netherlands and USA 3rd to 10th of March for the usual 10 nations tournament in preparation for the UEFA U19 Elite round. ( girls born in 1996 and later)

Edit :  France are not invited to the 10 nations tournament at La Manga this year. According to sources, the organizer the NFF has not invited France as there was a problem with a friendly that did not happen at Senior level…

My top 10 games attended in 2014

10. England v Germany international friendly played at Wembley Stadium

It was the first England Women game played at the new Wembley.  There were 45 k + fans, not the 55k announced as sold. To be fair public transport was bad on the day and the weather was absolutely awful.  Still it was a  very good attendance and hopefully  a chance for more games to be played at Wembley Stadium. Football wise, it was game settled at half time. I had some good company with a fellow Nantes supporter.


Year 2014 review games 91-100


91.  Arsenal U17 v Middlesex U17  29th of November

92. Millwall Development v Arsenal Development 30th of November


93. Nestle Cup Urawa reds v Yunogo Belle 6th of December

94. Nestle Cup Sao Jose v Arsenal Ladies 6th of December

95.  PSG V Guingamp 7th of December

96. Bedford Ladies v Cambridge Women 14th of December

97. Hampshire U17 vMiddlesex U17 20th of December

98. Coventry City Ladies v Bradford women 21st of December

Countries visited in 2014 :

England, France, Cyprus, Roumania, Sweden, USA, Germany, Norway, Japan, Wales

France reach all time high FIFA ranking with 3rd place

As of today the 19th of December 2014, France have reached their highest ever ranking with third place in the FIFA Women’s World ranking.

France are currently third with 2091  points behind USA with 2158 points and Germany who have just overtaken the USA with 2176 points. Germany hold the number 1 ranking in men and women’s football an impressive feat.

When Phillipe Bergeroo took over from Bruno Bini back in September 2013, France were ranked 6th in the World following a disappointing Euro 2013 quarter-final exit. It is a credit to the coach and his staff that they managed to climb 3 places up the table in a year and half, collecting many good results against top 5 teams and reaching France record points as well in the process with points.

The big question is if those points will transfer into trophies or medal as so far France have only a 4th place at the WC 2011 and the 2012 Olympics to show for. The 2015 WC will be the last chance for a generation of French players to bring something home be it Gold, Silver or Bronze.

2015 Algarve Cup groups disclosed

The Swedish FA has disclosed the 3 groups for the tournament that is played from 4th to the 11th of March : http://svenskfotboll.se/landslag/damer/arkiv/landslag/2014/12/gruppindelning-for-algarve-cup-2015/

Current ranking included :

Group A average position 6.75
Group B  average position 12
Group C average position 15

It will be interesting to see if the same format as last year is kept or if there is a change. : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Algarve_Cup

Groups A and B, containing the strongest ranked teams, are the only ones in contention to win the title.

The teams in Group C played for places 7–12.


The format will change from the previous seasons and all 3 groups will compete for the trophy rather than group C being the also-ran.

The big question is will the best 2 group winners play the final ? if so the Group C winner will try to hammer Portugal surely to get the best goal difference.

FIFA ranking updated

Group A- Germany (1), Sweden (5), China (13), Brazil (8) average 6.75
Group B- USA (2), Norway(12), Switzerland(19), Iceland (20) average 13.25
Group C- France (3), Japan (4), Denmark (16), Portugal (42) average 16.25