The FA Women’s Super League (WSL) is back this week for its biggest season yet. For the first time there will be a second division, FA WSL 2 and ten new clubs, along with promotion and relegation between tiers.
All 18 FA WSL clubs will compete in the expanded FA WSL Continental Cup, which begins on 30 April. Last year the FA WSL culminated in a dramatic finish when Liverpool Ladies pipped Bristol Academy to the title on the final day of the season, with a 2-0 win.
England’s Gemma Bonner captained Liverpool Ladies during their title winning 2013 campaign. She said: “Winning the WSL last season was one of the best things you could wish for as a footballer and it’s something that the whole team wants to achieve again this season. No one wants to be in the relegation places and every team will want to get off to a good start, so we know our first game against Man City will be a tough one.
“The title is ours to defend. Teams know more about us now and they will all be looking to up their games against us. We’re determined to do well, we’re confident in our ability and can’t wait to get the season started.”
Meanwhile, the draw for The FA Women's Cup sixth round and semi-final was made this week, and there's a mouth-watering Merseyside derby in store for Bonner and her team-mates as Liverpool host Everton.
Last year's Cup winners Arsenal are will travel to Birmingham City, who won the Cup themselves in 2012. Two more FA WSL teams are paired together as Manchester City take on Chelsea, while Portsmouth Ladies will host Notts County.
The two semi-final matches were also drawn: Manchester City or Chelsea v Birmingham City or Arsenal, and Portsmouth FC Ladies or Notts County v Liverpool or Everton. Sixth round ties will be played on Sunday 27 April and the semi-final ties will be played on Sunday 11 May.