Previewing the FA WSL 2015 schedule

This will be the 5th FA WSL 1 and 2nd FA WSL 2 season. We all know how bad the first four seasons’ schedule have been in FA WSL1 and the jury is still out on FA WSL 2. The season will start in March.

2015 is a big year as it is a World Cup year which means the FA will accomodate the schedule towards the England team even more than usual, therefore putting the clubs into a very difficult situations with regards to injury/fitness/squad size.

There are 52 weeks in a year ie 52 week-ends to play the games if we want to avoid midweek games.

So how many games do FA WSL 1 & 2 teams have to squeeze in the 2015 calendar year ?  There are 4 competitions from the most important to the least (IMO) the UEFA WCL played by 2 English teams, the FA WSL 1&2, the FA Women’s Cup and the FA WSL Continental Cup.

 

FA WSL 1 teams : up to 30 games 

UEFA WCL up to 5 games

League 14 games

FA Cup up  to 4 games

Conti Cup  up to 7 games with current format

FA WSL 2 teams : up to 31 games

League 18 games

FA Cup up to 6 games

Conti Cup up to 7 games with current format

In theory you can squeeze 31 dates out of 52 week-end, when you do not take into account the international program that takes precedence over the domestic program. This is something that is always forgotten by the FA when they put League games on the same dates as Champions league games, probably gambling on the fact that no English teams will make the quarter finals and therefore not creating any potential disruption in the schedule. After all UEFA forbids league games in men’s football to be played at the same time as Champions League game. Maybe UEFA should apply this rule to women’s football as well.

 

So let’s have a look at the FIFA dates for 2015 :

10-15 January*

7-12 February*

4-11 March*

4-9 April*

6 June – 5 July#

*48 hours release date

#14 days release date

 

14-22 September 15  2 games players released Monday to  Wednesday following week

19 – 27 October 15 2 games players released Monday to  Wednesday following week

23 November – 01 December 2 games players released Monday to  Wednesday following week

 

And the UEFA dates :

21-22 March WCL

28-29 March WCL

7-12 April U19 Elite Round

18-19 April WCL

25-26 April WCL

14 May WCL final

6 June – 05 July World Cup

22 June – 04 July U17 Finals Iceland

15 July – 27 July U19 Finals Israel

 

 I have been told that the FA is looking at the following option :

FA Women’s Cup and FA WSL Continental Cup games and finals to be played before the World Cup break. Full League program after the World Cup break. It does make sense considering the fixtures congestion in the 1st half of 2015.  You do wonder if playing cup games would be right preparation for th England players though.

Champions League team problems :

Bristol have qualified for the Champions League quarter finals :

Their FA Women’s Cup  Round 5 tie will be postponed to the next available Sunday ie 12th of April when Round 6 is supposed to be played with the obvious knock-on  effect.

Historically the FA has scheduled WSL 1 matchdays at the same time as Champiosn League game, so you would expect Bristol to have 2 games postponed in the first half of the competition.

 

 UEFA Youth tournaments :

U17 Finals are played during the World Cup so no impact on the FA WSL schedule

U19 Finals 15th to 27th of July for the girls born in 1996 and later. This might potentially disrupt 2 or 3 games in WSL 1& 2players are called up. We might end up in the same situation as season 2014 with an unecessary 2nd summer break for teams with many youngsters involved.

 

I have created a mock-up schedule for WSL 1 and WSL 2.

If you want a balanced schedule with 7 games each side of the mid-season break due to the World Cup, it is not possible for WSL 1. It is possible for WSL 2 as an extra 4 week-ends are available due to no Champions League games for WSL 2 teams. I have minimised the Continental Cup impact by making all the group games as midweek. If you put the Conti Cup games on week-end dates, well it makes it even more complicated.

calendrier-2015

 

 

 

 

 

Published by Sylvain

women's football fan since 1998

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