The popularity of women’s football is soaring.
On the back of an inspiring England display at the World Cup this year, and the busiest opening weekend in Women’s Super League history, the excitement continues for the women’s game with the announcement of the FA’s Women’s Football Weekend.
The inaugural programme, scheduled to take place this year over the 16th and 17th of November, will see fixtures from the WSL take centre stage in the absence of Premier League football thanks to those pesky international breaks. A Merseyside derby, a North London clash at the 62,000-seater Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and Manchester United's trip to Chelsea will go a long way to taking the game to new heights.
The game has seen an impressive surge in popularity and more and more people are flocking to matches, with the FA’s latest concept seeking to gain enough traction to become an annual event. But this latest announcement will raise questions about whether or not hosting the Weekend during the men's international break is clever exploitation of the calendar, or merely a token effort from the FA.
For the top bods in the football system, promoting the success and accessibility of the sport is integral to also supporting grassroots football for younger women and allowing them to see themselves represented. Being backed by the broadcasting giants of the BBC is incredibly important for its continued development too, and streaming a selection of the WSL games digitally goes a long way to back the women’s game. It all counts towards building the infrastructure that is required to continue promoting the women's game, which is slowly, but surely, being created.
The FA's director of the women's professional game, Kelly Simmons, said: "There has never been a better time to visit your local team, and we encourage all supporters to get involved at all levels of the pyramid."