As of the 28th May 2018 Manchester United officially formed its women’s side. Set to be managed by none other than Casey Stoney, the female team are set to play in the second tier of ladies football which means they will be facing the likes of Aston Villa, Charlton Athletic, Crystal Palace, Durham, Leicester City, Lewes, London Bees, Millwall Lionesses, Sheffield United and Tottenham Hotspur.
Now the news has fully been released that they are actually in the process of recruiting their female squad, we thought what better way to celebrate their establishment then to produce an article about the process. Within this post we will look at the overview of the WSL and all about the decision process which lead MUFC to biting the bullet and starting a womens team.
About the Women’s Soccer League
After a slight decline in the beginning of the 20th Century, the 1990s was where the Women’s Football League really took off in the UK. It saw the numbers of female spectators as well as supporters increase rapidly after the Women’s European Championships were held in England back in 2005. However, prior to this the Women’s Football Association was created in 1969 after the success of the national team in 1966.
Despite becoming established almost 50 years ago, the WFA is expected to one day be at the same level as the long term Football Association which has seen men play soccer since the 1800s. And in the future we hope to see a lot more awareness and popularity spread amongst spectators and supporters for the women’s teams as well as the men’s. And this is why it is so important that clubs begin to embrace another league of football by creating their own female squads.
In the women’s football league there are three main competition categories which then also have a number of tournaments within them. See below to see a rough breakdown of the games:
- FIFA Women’s World Cup
- UEFA Women’s Championships
- FA Women’s Super League
- FA Women’s Championship
- FA Women’s National League North
- FA Women’s National League South
- FA Women’s Cup
- FA WSL Cup
- UEFA Women’s Champions League
Known as the Lionesses, the English national female squad has had quite a few achievements over the years as they competed in European and world tournaments. Their most impressive points in time were when they achieved third place in the World Cup in 2015 that was in Canada. And they were also runners up twice in the European Championships.
History of MUFC Women’s Team
Up until May this year, Manchester United was one of two clubs in the Premier League without a female team. However, now this has changed, leaving Southampton as the only one without, whom hopefully will follow suit shortly.
Back in 2000 Manchester United had a womens team; however this only lasted 5 years and was dissolved shortly after the Glazers took over. Since then MUFC has maintained a youth squad however, have not had a senior team for 13 years.
Meet the Squad
As of the 13th July 2018 MUFC has released their list of players in the team. Below is the members so far and their positions, along with them the captain has been named as the defender Alex Greenwood. And the renowned Casey Stoney is the manager of the club who will work alongside coaches Willie Kirk, Ian Willcock and Ellie Turner.
- Siobhan Chamberlain – 34 years old
- Emily Ramsey – 17 years old
- Fran Bentley – 18 years old
- Martha Harris – 23 years old
- Alex Greenwood – 24 years old
- Amy Turner – 27 years old
- Naomi Hartley – 17 years old
- Lucy Roberts
- Kirsty Smith – 24 years old
- Aimee Palmer – 17 years old
- Mollie Green – 20 years old
- Katie Zelem – 22 years old
- Charlie Devlin – 20 years old
- Lauren James – 16 years old
- Lizzie Arnot – 22 years old
- Millie Turner – 22 years old
- Ella Toone – 18 years old
- Jess Sigsworth – 23 years old
- Leah Galton – 24 years old
- Kirsty Hanson – 20 years old
- Ebony Salmon – 20 years old
Looking at the line-up for the MUFC ladies team there are some quite impressive goal scorers. The most outstanding is Midfielder Katie Zelmen who has achieved 28 goals over her career at only 22 years old. Followed behind her are Jess Sigsworth at 20 goals and Lizzie Arnot at 17. When it comes to the Defenders, Kirsty Smith and Captain Alex Greenwood have netted a total of 28 between them.
And reviewing the age range of the women, there are a few younger members and one who is over 30. However, the majority appear to be in their mid-twenties so they have a nice mix of experiences.
Now the club’s players have been chosen, they are currently set to play and train in the Leigh Sports Village. This is only temporary as they are expecting to move to The Cliff in Broughton; however it is currently undergoing redevelopment work.
At the moment there have not been any match fixtures released for the FA WSL Tier 2. However, we are sure that these will be featured shortly in the coming weeks ahead of the new 2018/19 season beginning.
What Are Your Thoughts on the New MUFC Female Squad?
In this article we have explored a variety of areas relating to the new team put together by Manchester United. And now we would like to know your thoughts and opinions on it, who are you looking forward to watch play the most? How do you think this team fares against other womens clubs in the league? Find us over on our social media channels and join in the conversation about all things soccer!
Don’t forget that you can explore our online store over at Soccer Box where you can purchase the latest Manchester United apparel to pledge your allegiance to the club and its new members.
This article was written exclusively for Soccer Box by Loren Astbury