Sunday marks the beginning of the 2018/19 Women’s Super League season. With a number of top flight ladies teams preparing to take to the pitch, fans are eager to see their beloved club’s journey through the WSL.

And to celebrate the start of the new season, we are going to take a look at how the previous seasons panned out. From the highest scoring clubs and players to the modernized approach to their scheduling and promotions, this article has got it covered. So let’s review what we know so far about the WSL and see what will be in-store for the club’s and spectators during their latest campaign.

Last Season’s Fixtures

Winners of the 2017/18 FA WSL tournament were Chelsea Ladies who achieved 44 points. There was a considerable amount of points difference between the other top 5 teams from the last season. Manchester City Women were in second place with 38 points, third was Arsenal at 37 and closely behind was Reading at 32 and Birmingham City Ladies with 30.

Looking at the outcomes of the previous matches there were a number of impressive results from a range of clubs. When reviewing the games individually we can see that Liverpool scored the most goals in a single match by reaching 8 nets against Yeovil Town Ladies. Just behind them were Arsenal, Chelsea FC Women and Manchester City Women who all managed to successfully acquire a total of 6 goals in one match.

FA WSL Trends and the New Approach

When looking at the patterns of previous seasons we can see that over the recent years, the number of ladies teams taking part have slowly increased. Up until the 15/16 season there were only 8 clubs within the league each tournament, however in recent years this has steadily increased. 16/17 saw 9, 17/18 saw10 and this season there are 11 clubs.

Within the Women’s Super League there are two tiers, and prior to each season clubs need to apply to be selected for their chosen tier. And this application, when granted means that the team acquires a license to play within their selected tier for the campaign. Prior to 2017/18 the WSL used the traditional promotion and relegation technicalities when it came to choosing the future fixtures. But this new way of playing is much more inclusive for all players and teams as they get to choose the tier they want to compete in for that season.

Beneath these two main tiers there is also a third tier which is known as the Women’s Championship. And this tournament is split into a North and South regional games which are then combined for the play-offs.

During the application window for 18/19, 17 out of the 20 teams seen last season re-applied for their WSL license. This means that we said goodbye to Sunderland, Oxford and Watford, plus Brighton and Hove Albion Ladies were accepted into the higher tier. After the window closed it also saw the likes of Manchester United, Charlton Athletic, Crystal Palace, Leicester City and West Ham accepted into their preferred league. And also, despite being the lowest scoring team in 17/18, Yeovil Town Ladies have progressed on to the new 2018/19 season thanks to the change of approach to the scheduling and application process.

Notable Players

Currently playing forward for Birmingham City, Ellen White has scored a total of 15 goals for this team since she first signed back in 2017. Prior to this she has also played for Notts County, Arsenal, Leeds Carnegie and Chelsea. Within these years Ellen has acquired a senior total of 74 goals including the stint at Birmingham City. She has also played for the England and Great Britain national teams, with the most significant achievement being acquiring 26 goals for her country.

On loan to Manchester City as of 2015, Nikita Parris signed with the current champions on the long term after her successful season. Across her senior career there was a total of 30 goals scored by Nikita and she has also capped a number of times for her country. During her national career playing in England ladies squad there was an impressive total of 36 goals acquired.

Isobel Christiansen has had an impressive history in the UK ladies soccer tournament however as of 2018 she has now transferred to the French team Olympique Lyon. And what makes her a significant player over her career with Everton, Birmingham City and Manchester City is that she netted a total of 21 goals and scores 6 for her country in national games.

Francesca Kirby plays for Chelsea at the moment and she has done since 2015 when transferring from Reading. And when looking at the amount of goals she has scored since 2012, they are spectacular and stand at a total of 90 across 5 years. She has also netted 11 goals for the England ladies team.

And finally, another notable WSL player is Beth Mead. Beth Mead currently plays for Arsenal as of 2017 when she signed a contract with them after leaving Sunderland. During her career with Sunderland from 2011 to 2017 Beth successfully scored a grand total of 77 goals and along with this she has netted 9 for Arsenal during her first season. Along with her hugely impressive local tournaments, Beth has also scored 12 goals for England.

Who Seems the Strongest Side for 2018/19?

As we have reviewed how the 2017/18 fixtures turned out and exploring the latest innovative approach to their application process for their tiers, we want to know your thoughts on this post. Whether you support their move away from the traditional promotions and relegations or would rather them go back to it, let us know. You can also help us predict who you think will fare the best in the new season by chatting to us over on our social media pages.

You are also able to support your cherished ladies soccer team this season by purchasing their replica soccer shirts from us here at Soccer Box. For example, you can pick up the Chelsea football jerseys from the current and previous tournaments to display your pride for your favourite team as they defend their champions title in the Women’s Super League.

This article was written exclusively for Soccer Box by Loren Astbury