Women’s Super League Academies league and its impact on colleges

From 2018-19 the top tier of English women’s football, WSL 1, will only be for circa 12 full-time clubs.

Those clubs are now required to run an academy from the 2018-19 season onwards. To enable these academy teams to compete regularly in a structured format, The FA is creating a new U20 league, with matches scheduled for Wednesday afternoons.

This brings a number of opportunities for AoC Sport and our member colleges: to develop the partnerships between colleges and clubs, to create a unified pathway for women’s football, to improve the education and football offer, and ultimately create better players.

However, many colleges have links with WSL 1 clubs and are concerned about the impact this will have on their ECFA Premier (Cat 1) women’s teams and other ECFA women’s team entries.

Colleges are worried that players will be lost, the competition will be diluted and, in some cases, it will no longer be possible to field a women’s premier football team. As a result, some Premier league divisions are at risk.

We are taking this matter very seriously and are working closely with our ECFA Committee and The FA over the implementation of this proposal.

We will keep members informed via direct emails, our fortnightly e-newsletter and the news section of the website.

If you would like to contact us about this matter, please email AoC Sport’s Competition Manager Andy Perlejewski. 

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