FA WSL One and Two announce fixture schedule
FA Women’s Super League (FA WSL) One champions Chelsea will face newly-promoted Doncaster Rovers Belles when they begin their title defence in March.
The Blues will face the Belles on Thursday 24 March in their first game of the 2016 season.
The league, now in its sixth season, will kick off the day before (Wednesday 23 March) with FA WSL Two title winners Reading travelling to two-time winners Arsenal for their opener. Last season’s runners-up Manchester City will host Notts County, while Liverpool will face Birmingham City.
The second round of fixtures sees Manchester City host Arsenal in a 3pm kick-off on Monday 28 March – a game in which Kick It Out ‘Next 20’ ambassadors Toni Duggan and Jordan Nobbs will face off against each other.
FA WSL One has been expanded this season to nine teams for the first time, a gradual step to the division increasing to 10 teams in 2017. Sunderland’s first game of the season is at home against Reading on Saturday 26 March.
In FA WSL Two, promoted Sheffield FC will host Durham in their curtain-raiser on Wednesday 23 March.
Newly-named Bristol City, who were relegated from FA WSL One, welcome Yeovil while London Bees host Watford. The following day (Thursday 24 March) Everton will play Aston Villa and Millwall Lionesses will travel to Oxford United.
The league will take a mid-season break from 26 May until 25 June. The league’s final day for both divisions will be on Sunday 6 November.
FA director of football participation and development, Kelly Simmons, said: “We’re set for another really exciting season in the FA WSL and the opening week’s fixtures demonstrate just that.
“Last season was a real landmark for women’s football in general. We saw record attendances and the awareness and positivity around the game really grow, and the FA WSL clubs played a huge part in that.
“It will be a big challenge to continue this momentum without the attention that a major tournament like the World Cup generates but we are confident that the supporter base and interest in the league is strong and that we’ll see even more growth in 2016.”
Ticket and match information can be found at www.fawsl.com.