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, The FA is on course to hit its 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% increase in Mini-Soccer teams.
199 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 7% by mid-season.
Across Merseyside, the statistics are just as impressive, with more females getting involved in football on a regular basis.
- 209 female teams are involved in Mini Soccer, youth, adult and small-sided football in 2017/18
- 2 youth girls’ leagues are being contested on Saturday and Sunday
- 1 Women’s League and an additional Women’s Summer League
- 28 SSE Wildcats Football Centres for 5-11-year-olds; the result of £26,900 of investment
- 276 school teams involved in primary and secondary school festivals run by Liverpool FA, with 2,713 players involved thanks to £6,000 funding from English Schools FA
- LCFA Super 7s delivered with 8 college teams (16-19-year-olds) and over 60 players participating
- £3,000 invested into our Girls’ Satellite Programme, targeting girls aged 14-19
- New Ladies Futsal League set to launch, with 6 teams already registered
- New ‘Beginners to Football’ sessions/festivals to be launched in spring/summer
- Over £40,000 invested by the Football Foundation in 2017 to develop female teams, with an estimated £50,000 hopefully delivered in 2018
- Female-only Level 1 coaching course delivered in July 2017, with a female-only Level 2 coming to a conclusion this year
- £2,500 invested by The FA to allow Liverpool FA to educated females in primary and secondary schools on refereeing, which will also result in discounted referee courses and support via the referee mentor programme
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.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE GAMEPLAN FOR GROWTH - YEAR ONE DOCUMENT
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.”
For more information on female football across Merseyside, please contact Anna Farrell, Football Development Officer at Liverpool County FA, via firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0151 523 4488 (Ext. 110).