Fans of five leading WSL sides have given their thoughts on the COVID-19 shutdown and their chances of returning to stadiums once the disruption caused by the pandemic has eased, and voiding the season has not proved a popular option.
With England’s She Believes Cup campaign getting underway shortly, as part of our Free Lionesses service we’ve pulled together some useful links and information for fans who might be making the journey out to the USA to cheer on Phil Neville’s side, who are aiming to retain the trophy they won in 2019.
Voting remains open in the FSA Awards 2019 in association with BeGambleAware, and the Women's Player of the Year is one of the most coveted titles up for grabs. Previous winners include the Arsenal pair of Beth Mead (2018) and Sari van Veenendaal (2016), and Man City's Jill Scott (2017).
The southern Czech city of České Budějovice will be hosting the Lionesses’ final game of 2019, against the hosts the Czech Republic. Hot on the heels from the disappointing 2-1 defeat to Germany in front of a record crowd at Wembley, this is Phil Neville’s last chance before the winter break to arrest a worrying dip in form following the World Cup performances in the summer.
The idea of struggling to make an away fixture due to a late change is not alien to football fans. TV has such a massive sway with the schedules that fans are often loath to book travel before hearing confirmation from broadcasters when fixtures will take place, while the prospect of cup replays, Europa League fixtures or the good old British weather can all be a factor in rescheduling our lives at the last minute.
The international break is in full swing – England’s women drew 3-3 with Belgium last week, and are now preparing in Norway for tonight’s friendly in Bergen. We caught up with Lionesses fan Louise Smith to find out more about what it’s like following the national team, her experiences of the World Cup and how the Lionesses are inspiring a new generation to get involved in the game.
England’s players aren’t the only ones preparing for their World Cup semi-final against the United States on Tuesday – our fans’ embassy team have been putting in the miles following the team every step of the way this summer, and are already in Lyon ahead of the biggest game of the tournament so far.
Following the news of a multi-year deal signed by Barclays as title sponsors of the Womens Super League, and high street retailer Boots’ sponsorship of the national teams of the home nations and Republic of Ireland, the financial backing behind women’s football in the UK has rarely been as strong as it is now.