There’s a lot to look forward to in 2022 in the world of women’s football. Here’s some highlights to keep an eye on.
FAWSL + FAWC conclusion
The second half of the FAWSL restarts this weekend (7th to 9th January). It is a two-horse race for the title this season with the Gunners currently holding a four point lead over Emma Hayes’ Blues.
The battle for that final Champions League place is a fascinating one. There are just seven points separating Tottenham in third and Reading in eighth. Spurs have excelled so far this season and will fancy their chances. Manchester United and Brighton are still in the hunt while you cannot rule out Manchester City.
Having lost to Leicester just before the winter break, Birmingham City have their work cut out as they prop up the bottom of the table. The relegation battle will still be a tight one, however, with just two points separating them and twelve games remaining.
The Championship restarts on Sunday (9th January). Liverpool are flying at the top of the table, unbeaten in the league since August. Durham sit two points behind them but have played one extra game. London City and Crystal Palace are still in the hunt for promotion, having enjoyed impressive seasons so far.
The relegation battle is more uncertain. The situation at Coventry United is still in the balance with rumours of a last-minute investment bid to save the club. Whether that happens or not, and what the response of the FA will be, remains to be seen. They currently sit tied on points with Watford at the bottom of the table.
The final day for the FAWSL is Sunday 8th May while the Championship ends on Sunday 1st May. You can see all league tables and remaining fixtures here.
FAWNL Finale + Play-Off
The six FAWNL divisions are all shaping up to have fascinating conclusions. The final day of the season is currently on Sunday 10th April.
The winner from both the Northern and Southern Premier divisions will face each other in a play-off game. The winner of that will then get promoted to the FA Championship if they meet league requirements. Derby County currently lead the Northern Division, with Fylde and Wolves in hot pursuit. Things are even closer in the Southern Division with both Ipswich Town and Southampton FC flying this season, and Oxford United not letting up in the chase. The play-off final 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. Liverpool Feds lead the North Division but Newcastle United are not far behind them with two games in hand. In the Midlands Division, Doncaster Belles sit top, with Long Eaton United, Lincoln City and Boldmere St. Michaels in hot pursuit. The South East Division sees a close battle between Hashtag United and Billericay Town for promotion. Finally, things are tight in the South West Division with Cheltenham Town narrowly ahead of AFC Bournemouth and Southampton Women who both have games in hand.
You can see all league tables and remaining fixtures here.
The 2021/22 competition gets back underway with an intriguing Fourth Round. With Barclays FAWSL teams entering the fold, there are 16 fixtures to be played on Sunday 30th January. Stand-outs include Bridgwater United hosting Manchester United, Manchester City travelling to Nottingham Forest and Huddersfield Town hosting Everton.
From there, we will have:
- Fifth Round: 27th February
- Quarter-Finals: 20th March
- Semi-Finals: 17th April
The Final will be played at Wembley on Saturday 15th May. Tickets are already on sale here.
There is one fixture remaining from the Group Stage to decide how the quarter-finals of this year’s competition will look. Manchester City and Leicester City will play on Wednesday 12th January to determine who of them or Charlton Athletic will progress.
The quarter-finals will then be played on 19th/20th January:
- Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool (19.01.2022; KO tbc)
- Arsenal v Manchester United (19.01.2022; 19:15 GMT)
- West Ham v Chelsea (19.01.2022; 19:30 GMT)
- Manchester City/Leicester City/Charlton Athletic v Bristol City (tbc)
The Final will be held on Saturday 5th March at AFC Wimbledon’s Cherry Red Records Stadium. Tickets are already on sale here.
Arsenal are the only British side left in the competition, having squeaked through second in their group.
They now face a tough test as they meet German side, Wolfsburg, in March.
Here is the full quarter-final schedule:
Wednesday 22nd March:
- Bayern Munich v PSG (17:45 GMT)
- Real Madrid v Barcelona (20:00 GMT)
Thursday 23rd March:
- Juventus v Lyon (17:45 GMT)
- Arsenal v Wolfsburg (20:00 GMT)
Wednesday 30th March:
- Barcelona v Real Madrid (17:45 GMT)
- PSG v Bayern Munich (20:00 GMT)
Wednesday 31st March:
- Wolfsburg v Arsenal (17:45 GMT)
- Lyon v Juventus (20:00 GMT)
If they get through, Arsenal will face the winners of the game between Real Madrid and Barcelona. The semi-finals will be played 23rd/24th April and 30th April/1st May.
This year’s UWCL Final is to be held in Turin, at Juventus Stadium on Sunday 22nd May.
Other UK + Ireland leagues
Both SWPL leagues restart after the winter break on Sunday 16th January and will finish on Sunday 15th May.
In SWPL 1, Rangers and Glasgow City are the only two sides to remain unbeaten this campaign. Rangers lead the current champions by two points. Celtic are still in the hunt, especially for the second UWCL spot.
Dundee United have opened up a good gap at the top of SWPL 2. They lead Glasgow Girls by five points with a game in hand.
You can see all league tables and remaining fixtures here.
Adran Premier League
In Wales, the Adran Premier League is currently suspended with the introduction of new restrictions by the Welsh government. This is due to be reviewed on or prior to 9th January.
Swansea City currently lead the way having opened up a seven point gap over Cardiff Met.
Danske Northern Ireland Women’s Premiership
2021 saw a hugely exciting year for Northern Irish Women’s Football. On the domestic front, the league went down to the wire with Glentoran claiming their second consecutive title.
There has not been any news yet on the start of the 2022 season but watch this space for a league that is sure to garner ever increasing attention.
SSE Airtricity Women’s National League
The 2022 SSE Airtricity WNL in the Republic of Ireland ended in the most dramatic of circumstances, with Shelbourne clinching the title at the death.
This year sees the league kick off on Saturday 5th March. The season will end with the EVOKE.ie FAI Women’s Cup Final at Tallaght Stadium on Sunday 6th November.
All fixtures can be found here.