It’s a busy year ahead for women’s football. Here are the highlights to look out for in 2019:
FAWSL & Championship conclusion
The second half of the FAWSL and Championship seasons restarts this weekend.
In the FAWSL, the battle for the title looks, for the moment, to be between Arsenal and Manchester City who are tied on points (although Arsenal have a game in hand). With these two sides facing each other in the last game of the season, will it be another FAWSL finale to remember? Current Champions, Chelsea, and Birmingham City head up the chasing pack, sitting five points behind.
Down the other end of the table, just two points separate the bottom three sides. With relegation looming, who of Everton, Brighton and Yeovil will stop themselves from dropping down?
Manchester United have been flying high so far in the Championship this year and sit at the top, tied on points with Charlton Athletic (although United have a game in hand). However, Durham and Tottenham are hot on their heels. With only a point separating the top four sides, an enthralling second half of the campaign awaits.
The final day for both leagues is Sunday 12th May.
FAWNL Finale and Play-Off
The six FAWNL divisions are all shaping up to have fascinating conclusions. The final day of the season is Sunday 5th May.
The winner from both the Northern and Southern Premier division will face each other in a play-off game. Both sides this year will get promoted to the Championship if they meet league requirements. At the moment, Blackburn Rovers and Coventry United are the teams in the top spot but there is much football still to come. This will be played on a date and at a venue to be confirmed.
In Division 1, things are getting interesting in the push for promotion. Burnley have opened up a five-point lead over their rivals in the North Division. In the Midlands Division, three points separate unbeaten West Brom from Wolves. Crawley Wasps have been flying high in this South East Division campaign and have opened up a healthy lead at the top. Finally, things are tight in the South West Division. Southampton lead top-scoring Keynsham Town by three points but the latter have a game in hand.
You can see all league tables and remaining fixtures here.
SSE FA Cup Final
This year’s competition gets back underway with the 3rd Round. There are ten fixtures to be this Sunday (6th January) and you can find them here.
The draw for the 4th Round will then take place. It will include the 22 FAWSL and Championship teams.
From there, we will have:
- 4th Round: 3rd February
- 5th Round: 17th February
- Quarter-Finals: 17th March
- Semi-Finals: 14th April
The Final will once again be at Wembley on Saturday 4th May. Will we have a new winner in 2019?
Tickets are already on sale here.
With the Group Stage concluding just before Christmas, we now know the draw for this year’s quarter-finals:
Wednesday 9th January:
- Manchester United v West Ham United (19:00 GMT)
- Arsenal v Birmingham City (19:30 GMT)
- Chelsea v Reading (19:30 GMT)
Thursday 10th January:
- Manchester City v Brighton & Hove Albion (19:00 GMT)
The Final will be held on Saturday 23rd February at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane. Kick-off is at 12:15 GMT.
Tickets will go on sale on Friday 11th January and you will be able to buy them here.
Chelsea are the only British side left in the competition. They reached the quarter-finals of this year’s competition with wins over Sarajevo and Fiorentina. They have been drawn in a tough match-up against French side, PSG. Here is the schedule:
Thursday 21st March: Chelsea v PSG (19:05 GMT; Kingsmeadow)
Wednesday 27th March: PSG v Chelsea (19:00 GMT; Stade Jean Bouin, Paris)
There is also English interest in some of the other quarter-finalists. Mary Earps will go head-to-head with her compatriots, Lucy Bronze and Izzy Christiansen as two European giants, Lyon and Wolfsburg, face each other. Meanwhile, Toni Duggan will be making the trip to Norway as her Barcelona side play LSK Kvinner.
If they get through, Chelsea will face the winners of the game between Lyon and Wolfsburg. Meanwhile, Barcelona would most likely face Bayern Munich. The semi-finals would be played 20th/21st April and 27th/28th April.
This year’s UWCL Final is to be held in Budapest, at the Ferencváros Stadium on Saturday 18th May.
2019 World Cup
The showpiece of this year’s women’s footballing action arrives in France this June with the World Cup.
The tournament begins on Friday 7th June in Paris as the hosts take on Korea Republic. From then, we have four weeks choc-a-bloc full of entertaining international football.
England and Scotland have of course been drawn in Group D and will face each other in their opening fixture. This is how their schedules look:
Sunday 9th June:
England v Scotland (17:00 BST; Stade de Nice, Nice)
Friday 14th June:
Japan v Scotland (14:00 BST; Roazhon Park, Rennes)
England v Argentina (20:00 BST; Stade Océane, Le Havre)
Wednesday 19th June:
Japan v England (20:00 BST; Stade de Nice, Nice)
Scotland v Argentina (20:00 BST; Parc des Princes, Paris)
The Final of the competition will be held on Sunday 7th July at 16:00 BST in Lyon. Will anyone be able to take the crown off the USA?
We would thoroughly recommend making a trip across the Channel for this year’s tournament. Having travelled to Canada for the 2015 edition, we can honestly say there is no experience quite like it. We have no doubt that France will be putting on the biggest tournament in Women’s World Cup history, so make sure you are a part of it. You can buy ticket packagess for the tournament here.
U19s & U17s aim for the 2019 European Championships
England, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are all involved in the Elite Round of qualifying for the 2019 Euros between the 3rd-9th April. England are hosting Group 6 while the Republic of Ireland will travel to Spain and Northern Ireland to Norway. You can find their fixtures here.
The group winners will qualify for the Finals to be held in Scotland from the 16th to the 28th July.
All of the Home Nations and the Republic of Ireland are involved in the Elite Round of qualifying for this year’s competition. England will play in Group 1 against Greece, Hungary and Georgia while Scotland host Group 4 which also includes the Republic of Ireland. Northern Ireland will travel to Portugal in Group 5, while in Group 7, Wales will make the trip to Austria. You can find the fixtures here.
The group winners will qualify for the Finals to be held in Bulgaria from the 5th to the 17th May.
SheBelieves Cup & March Internationals
The beginning of March is always a fun time for fans of the international game.
This year, England return Stateside for the fourth edition of the SheBelieves Cup. With Germany and France dropping out, Japan and Brazil join the competition. Chester, Philadelphia is the host for the first games before the teams head on down to Nashville, Tennessee and Tampa, Florida. Fixtures can be found here.
Meanwhile, Scotland will travel to the Mediterranean as they ramp up their World Cup preparations. Shelley Kerr’s team will be featuring in this year’s Algarve Cup. Fixtures to be announced shortly.
Wales and Republic of Ireland are heading to the warmth of Spain where they will face each other in a friendly on 28th February.
It was announced in early December that England would be the host of the next European Championships, to be played in July 2021.
In the Autumn, the qualifying campaign will get underway to decide the 15 teams that will join the hosts in the tournament. Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland will all be involved.
The draw for the qualification groups will be held on Thursday 21st February at 12:30 GMT.
Host of the 2023 World Cup decided
The decision for the hosts of the 2023 World Cup should be made in March/April.
As of now, Australia and South Africa are the only official bidders for the next edition of the tournament. There is still time, however, for others to get their bids in.