FA WSL - 2014 SEASON EXPANSION
A look forward to The FA WSL 2014 season
With the FA Women's Super League third season now finished we look forward to the 2014 seaon.
A successful 2013 season year, saw more fans than ever coming through the turnstiles since the launch back in 2011. Now, the announcement of an expansion to two divisions next year will move the sport on to a whole new level.
The WSL has captured the imagination of supporters up and down the country with some of the best talent across Europe and the world coming to play in the competition.
There have been numerous changes over the last few years with more competition, exposure, engagment and now television coverage. All ensuring the FA WSL has moved on, and will continue to do so.
There is a new sense of vibrancy in the Women's game after it was announced back in March that a new 10-team second tier would be introduced for the 2014 season.
Teams up and down England from Sunderland to Yeovil will be competing as the WSL prepares to increase from a single division of eight teams to two tiers with 18 clubs in total.
There is the added excitement that teams will now be promoted and relegated between the two divisions, but those in the second tier cannot go down.
With the growth of the women's game getting stronger every year, the authorities are hoping that this new development will only increase competition further and make the sport even stronger.
The FA will part-fund teams in the semi-professional WSL, awarding £70,000 to clubs in WSL1 and £35,000 to those in WSL2.
These are exciting times for the WSL and one of the biggest developments has been the announcement that Manchester City will be playing in the competition for the first time.
They will be playing in the top flight with reigning champions Liverpool, Birmingham City, Bristol Academy, Chelsea, Everton, Notts County (formerly known as Lincoln Ladies) and Arsenal from next season.
City previously played in the Premier League, which is a division below the WSL, but their inclusion has given everyone a major lift and they are now hoping to get even stronger over the next few years.
Manchester City Ladies vice-chairperson Niki Taylor said: "We are tremendously excited about the club's entry into the WSL.
"This is a huge milestone for Manchester City Ladies and I speak for the whole club when I say how honoured we are to be part of this. The support from Manchester City Football Club to make this possible is so valuable, and we look forward to what the future has to hold."
The second tier will comprise of Aston Villa, Doncaster Rovers Belles, Durham, London Bees (Barnet FC), Millwall Lionesses, Oxford United, Reading, Sunderland, Watford and Yeovil Town.
The future looks very bright for the WSL and with the new set-up looking to bring in even more spectators next season, who is to say how big the women's game will become over the next few years.