Womens news banner

Women's football on the rise with FA on course to hit strategy targets

The Football Association is on track to double the number of players and fans in the women's game by 2020

The Football Association is on track to double the number of players and fans in the women’s game by 2020.

The FA launched ‘The Gameplan For Growth’, an ambitious four-year strategy that aims to grow participation and create a high-performance system for England teams, in March 2017.

And 12 months in, we are on course to hit our targets.

Baroness Sue Campbell, The FA’s head of women’s football, said: “It's one thing to write a plan – it's another to turn it into well-executed action on the ground.

“So I am glad to report we are on track to deliver the big goals we set – but it is still early days.”

There are now 6,767 affiliated female teams, up from 6,000 in 2016-17, with a 15.9 per cent increase in Mini-Soccer teams.

One hundred and ninety-nine SSE Wildcats Centres, where 5-11-year-olds can enjoy football on a weekly basis, have been established with a further 772 to open next month.

Meanwhile, peak viewing figures for live FA WSL matches has increased from 46,000 to 103,000 on BT Sport and 130,000 on the BBC Red Button.

The average attendance figure for FA WSL 2 matches has increased by seven per cent by mid-season.

The third pillar of ‘The Gameplan For Growth’ is consistent success on the world stage.

The England senior team are now second in the FIFA rankings, their highest-ever position, while the U20s will chase World Cup glory in August. And the U17s and U19s are just one round of qualifiers away from reaching their respective Euro finals in the summer.

Baroness Campbell added: “We are striving to ensure that ALL girls and women are welcomed and valued as players, coaches, referees and administrators.

“We have made a good start in every area but we are only in the foothills – there is still a mountain to climb.

“We have the desire and aspiration to drive this game to new heights but it will take creativity, courage and a constant willingness to challenge the status quo.”