Foreign players in the FA WSL 1 from 2011-2015

Here is an update on the statistics on foreign players in the FA WSL since the competition started in 2011.


I have split the foreign players in three categories :

A Neighbours : Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Northern Ireland

B EU/EEA citizens


Note from the FA WSL 2015 regulations :

Each Club may only register a maximum of two non EU /EEA players at any time, any such registration to be subject to receipt of a Work Permit through the necessary Points Based System.

Each Club must ensure that at least 50 percent of Players registered within its Squad Cap are considered home grown players under the Home Grown Player Rule (as per Appendix F), as updated from time to time.

The UEFA  Women’s football across the associations 2015/16 report states that :

Professional and foreign players :
No. of professional players 152
No. of foreign professional players 41
At how many clubs are there professional players? 8
Restriction on number of foreign players? Yes

There are some category C players who hold an English or EU/EEA passport so probably were not counted as a category B/C player by the FA.


2011 A 30 B 2 C3 total 35 percentage of foreign players 20.96%

2012 A35 B2 C7 total 44 percentage of foreign players 26.03%

2013 A35 B8 C6 total 49 percentage of foreign players 25.52%

2014 A22 B4 C11 total 42 percentage of foreign players 23.78%

2015 A25 B19 C9 total 53 percentage of foreign players 31.90%




The FA Girls Youth Cup quarter final draw

The U17 National Cup aka FA Girls Youth cup draw has been made by the FA and here are the ties :


Stoke City v Blackburn Rovers

Arsenal v Middlesex

Liverpool v Sheffield Utd

Everton v Leeds or Man Utd


Dates to be confirmed.


The English women’s football 2016 calendar

Here are some of the dates that are already known for the 2016 calendar for the FA WSL & the England teams:


18/01 -> 26/01 FIFA international period

07/02 FA Cup R3 FA WSL 2 sides enter

28/02 FA Cup R4

29/02 ->09/03 Four nations tournament USA

-/03 La Manga U19 tournament

20/03 FA Cup R5 FA WSL 1 sides enter

23-24/03 UEFA WCL QF

24/03-29/03 Elite Round U17

30-31/03 UEFA WCL QF

23/03 FA WSL season starts

03/04 FA Cup  R6

05/04->10/04 Elite Round U19

08/04 England v Belgium Euro qualifier

12/04 Bosnia v England Euro qualifier

17/04 FA Cup SF

23-24/04 UEFA WCL SF

30/04-01/05 UEFA WCL SF

04/05 -> 16/05 UEFA U17 Euro finals (Belarus)

07-08/05 FA WSL CC preliminary

14/05 FA Cup Final


04/06 England v Serbia Euro qualifier

07/06 Serbia v England Euro qualifier

02-03/07 FA WSL CC R1

19/07 -> 31/07 UEFA U19 finals (Slovakia)

05/08 -> 21/08 Rio Olympics Games

06-07/08 FA WSL CC QF

03-04/09 FA WSL CC SF

15/09 England v Estonia Euro qualifier

20/09 Belgium v England Euro qualifier

30/09 -> 21/10 FIFA U17 WC (Jordan)

01-02/10 FA WSL CC Final

06/11  FA WSL season end

13/11 -> 03/12 FIFA U20 WC (Papua New Guinea)




The FA WSL Continental Cup 2016 returns to its original knock-out format

Following criticism of the 2015 format that delivered a lot of blow out and dead rubbers, the FA has decided to revert back to the original format.

Back in 2011, the original format was a knock-out tournament with eight teams. Ties were decided on the final league placement as follows : 1v8 2v7 3v6 4v5. There were (unproven) rumors at the time that a certain team did not put all the effort in their last league game in order to secure a home tie in the Conti Cup.

The new format is as follows and looks very close to the format used in the 2015/16 FA WSL Development League Cup:

The competition will now begin with a preliminary round before moving straight to knock-out from the first round.

The preliminary round will be seeded – with the bottom six clubs competing in three matches. These clubs are Sheffield FC, who recently won promotion into FA WSL 2 from The FA Women’s Premier League (FA WPL) and the five lowest-placed finishers in last season’s FA WSL 2 – Watford, Millwall Lionesses, London Bees, Durham and Oxford United.


The first round will also be seeded, which will see FA WSL 1 sides drawn to face FA WSL 2 sides, with the teams from the second tier given home advantage for the fixtures.


Note: after the preliminary round there will be 9 FA WSL 1 sides in the hat and 7  FA WSL 2 sides. In all logic Doncaster Belles should be at home alongside the 7 FA WSL 2sides against the remaining 8  FA WSL 1 sides.


As per our friend from :

FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup 2016 dates

Preliminary Round: 7-8 May
First Round: 2-3 July
Quarter Finals: 6-7 August
Semi Finals: 3-4 September
Final: 1st or 2nd October

The FA WSL 2016 Season will kick off on 23rd March 2016 and concludes on 6th November 2016. The fixture programme will be announced in January.

Algarve Cup line-up disclosed, what’s next for the remaining teams ?

Here are the eight teams invited to the Algarve Cup 2016  Brazil (7), Canada (11), Denmark (14), New Zealand (16), Iceland (19), Russia (22), Belgium (28), Portugal (39)

This is a clear downgrade from last year’s field that looked like a mini World-Cup with also a reduction in number with 8 rather than 12 teams.

The following teams are still available and could end up at the Cyprus Cup or playing each other in International friendlies or tournament.

USA (1), Germany (2), France (3), Italy (13), Spain (18), Ukraine (23), Colombia (25), Mexico (26), Austria (27), Thailand (29), Czech Republic (30), Republic of Ireland (31), Poland (32), Costa Rica (34), Argentina (35), Wales (36), Chinese Taipei (37), Nigeria (38) and so on.

You can expect the Cyprus Cup to have only 8 teams as well, unless the organisers wants to open the field to new teams.  England (5), Scotland (20) and Finland (24) are the tournament hosts.


Edit : USA, Germany, England and Francewill take part in a four nations tournament organised in the USA


Who might play at the Algarve and Cyprus Cups 2016 ?

With so many teams not available to play in March 2016 annual tournaments due to Olympics qualifiers. Let’s have a look at the available teams.

We can wonder if the two main tournaments will keep their 12 teams format in 2016 or reduce the numbers to 8 and two groups of 4.

Should both tournament stay on 12 teams and three groups, 16 teams need to be found : 7 for the Algarve Cup  and 9 for the Cyprus Cup. Organisers would have to dig deep into the Top 40 and invite new teams. That would be an interesting propect.

Should both tournament reduce to 8 teams the Algarve would only need to find 3 teams and the top 3 FIFA ranked teams would be perfect candidates but that would leave a team like Iceland out.

The Cyprus Cup would obviously pick-up the top teams not invited at the Algarve as they usually do.

It will be certainly interesting to see who will be invited and if we will see more teams from CAF, Concacaf and Conmebol turn up for those tournaments.


Algarve Cup (5 so far)

Tournament organisers Portugal will obviously compete. Twitter sources tell us that New Zealand, Brazil, Danemark, and Belgium will compete in the tournament as well.


Cyprus Cup ( 3 so far)

Tournament organisers England, Scotland and Finland will obviously compete.


Not available (10)

Japan, Korea DPR, China, Korea Republic, Vietnam and Australia will take part in the AFC Olympics qualifiers

Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland will compete in the UEFA Olympics play-offs.


Available Top 20 teams (7)

USA, Germany, France, Canada, Italy, Spain, Iceland


Available Top 20-40 teams (15)

Russia, Ukraine, Colombia, Mexico, Austria, Thailand, Czech Republik, RO Ireland, Poland, Costa Rica, Argentina, Wales, Chinese Taipei, Nigeria, Hungary


Lower ranked teams who played in Cyprus/Istria last year (7)

Romania, Slovakia, Croatia, South Africa, Northern Ireland, Bosnia.

FA WSL 2015 team by team review

Here is my analysis for the 2015  FA WSL 1  review from the bottom of the table to the top of the table :

8. Bristol Academy

Performed as expected really as they were favorite for relegation. The winter transfer window saw five important players leave the club and replacement that came in were not as strong.

Champions League horror defeat combined with a stupid scheduling by the FA meant FA Cup elimination at an early stage. And it just went downhill from there.

A  replacement  of manager was decided to change the club’s fortune as well as a massive import of players during the Summer window. It lead to a brief revival with a couple of wins but to no avail.

The smallest FA WSL budget went down.

7. Liverpool Ladies

Performed below expectations being the title holders. Injuries hurt them badly throughout the season, while Matt Beard also hinted at a budget gap with the big 3 teams that was ever growing.

4 wins 1 draw and 9 defeats a poor return for what ended up being a transitional season that saw Matt Beard’s depart tomanage the Boston Breakers.

For the full complete Liverpool review see Heather’s blog :

6. Birmingham City Ladies

After finishing very close to winning the title last season, the Blues ended up in the relegation race alongside Bristol. They started the season badly, struggling to score goals and unfortunately in a short 14 games season, lead them to a relegation battle.

They were probably the second lowest budget in the league and therefore ending up in sixth place is not bad result. Still performing below expectations considering their previous season.


5. Notts County Ladies

Another side performing below expectations considering their squad quality. They should be competing for the Champions League places instead of being a mid table mediocre team.

They reached two cup finals and lost both, so are clearly missing the little something that separate the winners from the losers. It might simply be an attacking football set-up.

Considering the available attacking talent and technical skill, it is bizzare to see them adopt a defensive and physical  attitude and play mainly on the break with a lot of direct football ( in the game I have seen live).

The FA Cup final is a typical example with Chelsea trying to win the game by attacking and Notts content with defending and breaking away. Attacking intent got rewarded in the end and rightly so.

The Continental Cup final was marred by Bassett’s red card that totally changed the game and it meant another defeat.

Notts CEO has gone so it will interesting to see if their fortune will improve and if they will start to play a different football next season.

4. Sunderland Ladies

An exceptional season from the promoted team that could have competed for the title had they not been unlucky with injuries towards the end of the season.

They also had the top goalscorer in Beth Mead also named players’ player of the season by her peers.

A positive start of the season with a win away to Liverpool launched their season and they never looked back, surprising everyone with their solid defending and clinical scoring.

They performed way above expectation and had a sensational first season in FA WSL 1.


3.Arsenal Ladies

Following the 2014 season turmoil, it was the first full season for Pedro Losa. Changes in the training conditions helped improve the team’s form to try to match Chelsea and Manchester City.

Arsenal were unbeaten in the League at the halfway point but suffered three home defeats in the second part of the season that condamned them to the third place.

Like Liverpool they suffered from injuries to key players having to start a 16 year old defender and send on as a substitute a  17 year old in the title decider at home to Chelsea.

They ended up the season with a trophy as they won the Continental Cup back to make it a good season overall.

2. Manchester City Women

Reached their main target qualifying for the Champions League but missed on the title due to a poor first half. Their second half of the League season yielded eight wins and a draw as they steamrolled their opponents with quality football.

The club’s investment in term of facilities paid off and they could go on and dominate the League for years if they can sustain that quality attacking and passing football.

Performed as expected overall, once the machine went into full speed after the World Cup break.

1.Chelsea Ladies

Performed above expectations by doing the double. Recruited very well during the winter break with key players coming in.

Played some lovely attacking football throughout the season and were rewarded with that double.

For more in depth Chelsea Ladies  reviews :

see Hannah’s blog :—guest-fan-blog/guest-fan-blog/doubles-all-round-in-2015–the-ladies.html and

For more season review see Darren’s blog :

And also Girls On The Ball review :