Sports International Magazine

FAWSL moves to new calendar

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

From 2017 The FA Women’s Super League (FA WSL) will move to a new calendar; starting in autumn. The league will be played alongside the traditional football calendar; from September until May each season. Next year, to bridge the gap between the seasons, there will be a one-off competition; The FA WSL Spring Series, which will be played from February to May. Each team will play each other once as they compete for their division’s Spring Series trophy.

FA director of football participation and development Kelly Simmons said: “When we launched the FA WSL in 2011 it was the right decision to play it as a summer league, which has been demonstrated by the competitive, exciting football, growing attendances and player development. “However, there are still a number of issues holding the league back, such as fixture scheduling and ground availability. We want to keep building on the momentum and growth of the league and we believe now is the right time to change the calendar”.

“The FA is committed to investing in women’s football and aims to double participation and attendances by 2020, as well as creating the right environment for England to have the best chance of winning the 2023 World Cup and we believe that these changes will help us to further achieve these aims”.

“This is a really exciting time for the women’s game and we will work alongside our clubs to ensure we support them in the transition, across areas such as contracts, marketing and fixtures to make sure that it proves a big success.”

This is all obviously huge news that has taken a few days to fully sink in and there are of course pros and cons to moving to a winter season.

The main beneficiaries should be the national team. At the moment the major tournaments take place during the middle of the season. With this new schedule the tournaments will take place at the end of the season in line with men’s football. Germany and France are traditionally the two powerhouses in European women’s football and they do run a September to May schedule. So this move would bring the Super league in line with our nearest neighbours. To balance it out though the USA are the most successful woman’s national team on the planet and they run a summer season with a break in the season for the World Cups and Olympic games.

This set up should also help sides in the UWCL. At the moment teams from England play the first two rounds after the start of the FAWSL season in the autumn, before the tournament takes a break till the spring. This means that teams who make it this far have a good chance of facing a top class team in the later stages in the spring with very little game time under their belts, or in their pre season, whereas their opponents are in midseason form. It’s hard enough as it is taking on the likes of Lyon and Wolfsburg without having to play them as your first game of the season when they have already been in action together for a few months.

When you look at these two footballing reasons the switch seems obvious, but there is more to it than that. There are other factors which show the case for a switch isn’t necessarily a straight forward one nor is it just about what happens on the pitch.

One of the huge plus points of a summer season is that there isn’t any men’s club football to compete with it. Thus it’s easier to attract fans to games and for media coverage. Over the past couple of years we have seen more FAWSL on television though BT Sports, and with no men’s action throughout much of the season it has been easy to slot in the TV Schedule. This will obviously become much harder now as men’s football is on TV in one form or another 7 days/nights a week during the season be it Premier league, Championship, League 1,2 or the National league. That’s without all the European competitions and overseas leagues that are beamed into our homes. One potential solution would be for FAWSL games to kickoff at 6.00pm in the evening. However this would be awful for fans who actually want to attend the game in person due to work commitments and travel issues, it would make some games a complete for away fans. From a fans perspective and the need to gain more media coverage, it’s hard to see how this move helps.

One idea that has been circulated is the potential to do “Double headers” with men’s sides; this could be a huge boost for the women’s teams IF the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal got involved in this. A women’s match at one of English football’s best known stadiums would be huge for the game especially if it was played before the men’s game.

So all in all the pros should outweigh the cons though the move may be tough to begin with. However the move to winter will not affect the coverage given to it by Sports International Magazine.


Julie Rogers becomes latest SIMGear supported athlete

Friday, July 15, 2016

SIMGear in conjunction with Sports International Magazine are very pleased to announce that rising 100m sprinter (T42 classification) star, Julie Rogers (@JulieeRogerss) has become their latest supported athlete. Julie has been given the full range of sportswear for training by SIMGear and will continue to be supplied with new products on her road to Rio as she seeks selection for the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games and through to the IPC World Championships in London in 2017. This will ensure that Julie can focus on training and not worry about kit falling apart or not having what she needs to train.
SIMGear owner Myak Homberger, commenting on the announcement said “Having met Julie and spent time with her, she is exactly the sort athletes we are keen to support. She loves what she is doing and is completely dedicated to her sport whilst being completely down to earth and approachable. Her enthusiasm is infectious and she takes nothing for granted. We are very proud to be supporting such a talented athlete as Julie and look forward to supporting and enabling her going forward.”
"I would like to thank SIMGear for their belief in me and their support, it means a great deal to have a company like them behind me. It is great that as a brand SIMGear have shown real interest in supporting young up and coming athletes" said Julie.
SIMGear is supporting athletes by given them the tools they need to focus on training and competing on the world stage. As well as this they are providing a range of sportswear that ensures there are no barriers to athletes and teams training and playing.
For further information or to contact SIMGear please visit Twitter @SIMGearsports or email

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