The FA are targeting a major tournament win with England and are aiming to make the WSL the best division in the world as part of ambitious new plans to grow the women’s game.
Following the conclusion of the Gameplan for Growth scheme in June, the governing body have launched their new four-year strategy titled Inspiring Positive Change.
The strategy covers early participation right through to elite level professional players. The FA are aiming to offer school girls the same participation opportunities as their male peers by embedding football into the school curriculum, while support for female coaches and referees is also outlined.
On a domestic level, the FA state that they want to: ‘Create the best professional women’s sports leagues and competitions in the world’.
“Attracting and developing world-class players, maximising and engaging audiences and growing commercial revenue will be central to the ambition of establishing England as the home of the world’s best professional women’s sports leagues and competitions,” the governing body added.
The WSL has begun to tap into the mainstream over the last 14 months, riding on a wave of momentum triggered by the 2019 World Cup.
The league’s attendance record was broken twice during the 2018/19 campaign, a selection of the world’s best players, including Rose Lavelle, Pernille Harder and Alex Morgan have joined various WSL teams during the most recent transfer window, and the first Women’s Football Show of the 2019/20 season attracted two million viewers.
On an international level, the FA are targeting major tournament success within the next four years. England have fallen at the semi final stage at each of the last three major tournaments, but have the European Championships on home soil approaching in 2022.
The Lionesses will have new manager Serina Wiegman in charge come Euro 22 – who insisted during her first press conference that her success would not be defined by whether she leads England to major tournament glory.
“When I and many of my teammates were girls, opportunities to play the game were few and far between, said England captain Steph Houghton. “So to see the breadth and scale of The FA’s ambitions in the next four years is extremely exciting.”