FA WSL 2

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FA WSL 2
FA WSL 2.png
Country  England
Founded 2014
Number of teams 10
Level on pyramid 2
Promotion to FA WSL 1
Relegation to WPL Northern Division
WPL Southern Division
Domestic cup(s) FA Women's Cup
League cup(s) FA WSL Cup
Current champions Reading (1 Title)
(2016)
Most championships Reading, Sunderland (1 Title)
TV partners BT Sport
2016

The Football Association Women's Super League 2 (FA WSL 2) is the second-highest division of women's football in England.

WSL 2 was founded in 2014 and 10 teams compete in it. There is currently no relegation from the WSL 2 to the FA Women's Premier League in place. However, two teams are promoted to the WSL 1 per season.[1][2]

The league was played in summer between April and October until the 2016 season. WSL 1 and 2 became winter leagues from 2017–18, playing from September to May.

History[edit]

For the 2014 season the WSL was expanded to create a second division with 9 new teams added and one team being relegated from the WSL 1. WSL 1 remains as 8 teams, with one new team inserted, with the WSL 2 having 10 teams.[3][4][5][6] The new WSL 1 licence was awarded to Manchester City. Doncaster Rovers Belles were relegated to the WSL 2, with nine new licences awarded to: London Bees; Durham; Aston Villa; Millwall Lionesses; Yeovil Town; Reading; Sunderland; Watford; and Oxford United.[7] Doncaster Belles appealed against their demotion, but were unsuccessful.[8]

In December 2014, the FA WSL announced a two-year plan to expand WSL 1 from an eight to 10-team league. Two teams will be promoted from WSL 2, while one team will be relegated to WSL 2.[9][1] Also, for the first time, a team from the FA Women's Premier League earned promotion to WSL 2, effectively connecting the WSL to the rest of the English women's football pyramid.[10]

This will leave WSL 1 with nine teams and WSL 2 with 10 teams for the 2016 season, and with the process repeated the following year, both WSL 1 and WSL 2 will have 10 teams each for the 2017–18 season.[9] In addition to being able to prove their financial solvency, clubs applying for entry to the WSL must show they will attract an average of 350 spectators in 2016, increasing to at least 400 in 2017.[11]

Clubs[edit]

2016 WSL 2 clubs
Club Established City Stadium Capacity*
Aston Villa 1973 Tamworth The Lamb 4,813
Bristol City 1998 Filton Stoke Gifford Stadium 1,500
Durham 2013 Durham New Ferens Park 3,000
Everton 1983 Widnes Halton Stadium 13,350
London Bees 1975 Barnet The Hive 5,000
Millwall Lionesses 1972 Millwall The Den 20,000
Oxford United 2005 Oxford The Armadillo Stadium 2,000
Sheffield 2003 Dronfield Coaches and Horses 2,000
Watford 1970 Berkhamsted Broadwater Stadium 2,000
Yeovil Town 1990 Sherborne Huish Park 9,565

Ten teams were being awarded WSL 2 licences in 2014.[7] The WSL 2 is expanding one club in 2016 and 2017, which will be promoted from the FA Women's Premier League provided they meet licensing requirements.[12]

Winners[edit]

Year Winner Runners-up Third Top Scorers Goals
2014 Sunderland Doncaster Rovers Belles Reading Fran Kirby (Reading) 24
2015 Reading Doncaster Rovers Belles Everton Courtney Sweetman-Kirk (Doncaster Rovers Belles) 20

Attendances[edit]

In the 2014 season there were 251 fans at a WSL 2 match on average. In 2015 it increased to 341 with thirteen matches reaching attendances of more than 500 spectators.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "BBC Sport – Women's Super League to be expanded from 2015". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 December 2014. 
  2. ^ "Bristol City and Yeovil victories seal place in FA WSL 1". The Football Association. The Football Association. 
  3. ^ "FA WSL 2014: Applications". thefa.com. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "FA WSL 2014-2018 brochure". thefa.com. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "The FA WSL Club Development Plan". thefa.com. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "Clubs bid for WSL spot". thefa.com. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "FA Selects Clubs for WSL". WSL. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  8. ^ Baber, Mark. "Doncaster Belles lose appeal over demotion from Women's Super League". Inside World Football. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  9. ^ a b "FA WSL 2 promotion announcement". Faws1.com. Retrieved 18 December 2014. 
  10. ^ "Sheffield FC beat Portsmouth in Women's Premier League play-off". BBC. 24 May 2015. Retrieved 29 July 2015. 
  11. ^ "Katie Brazier: FA head of women's leagues targets WSL expansion". BBC Sport. 27 July 2015. Retrieved 17 August 2015. 
  12. ^ "FA to expand WSL in 2016". gloucestershirefa.com. 4 July 2014. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  13. ^ "WSL 2 attendances up 36% in 2015". shekicks.net. 21 October 2015. Retrieved 22 October 2015. 

External links[edit]