The FA is delighted to announce that the final destination for The FA Girls' Football Festivals in association with Continental Tyres will be Gloucestershire, on Friday 21st October.
The FA Girls' Football Festivals are a joint initiative between the FA and Continental Tyres, providing girls aged five to 16 with an exciting, interactive football experience for those new to the game and regular players, with an overall intention of increasing participation in girl's football.
Guy Frobisher, Marketing Director at Continental Tyres, added: "The FA Girls Football Festivals with Continental Tyres continues to grow year on year, giving tens of thousands of young girls from around the country the chance to get involved with the sport. At Continental Tyres we are extremely proud that 2016 is our 6th year partnering with the FA and undoubtedly is set to be the biggest and best so far. Who knows, perhaps in a few years' time we may see a number of our festival attendees playing for their country!"
The free programme, aimed at encouraging girls to participate in football, is open to young girls from primary and secondary schools, within Gloucestershire.
Over 300 participants will enjoy an action-packed day, including taking on Conti interactive challenges, consisting of quick feet, batak boards and a speed cage. They will also get to take part in five-a-side games, a refereeing workshop and even have the chance to have their hair braided and faces painted to give the day a little more sparkle.
The young athletes will have the opportunity to meet some of the local stars of the FA Women's Super League (FAWSL). Both players will be joining in with the day's festivities, giving the girls advice and tips they have picked up along the way as well as taking part in a question and answer session.
It's not just the FAWSL stars who will be showing off their tricks as Charlotte Lade, world renowned football freestylist, will be on hand to offer the girls all of her knowledge and expertise.
The festivals aim to offer a fun and unique footballing experience to the girls while complementing the work the FA is doing with its 'We Can Play' campaign, which focuses on eradicating existing stereotypes, while maintaining and increasing participation across the girls' game.
Kelly Simmons, FA Director of Football Participation and Development, said: "Our festivals, run in partnership with Continental Tyres, have been a huge success since they launched. One of our big areas of focus is getting more girls to play football and these festivals encourage and provide the opportunity for our young players to do so."
Scotland under-17 have reached the UEFA Women's Under-17 Championships elite round, after progressing from their group in second place.
They defeated Croatia 4-0 first up before beating Kazakhstan 8-0 and losing 4-0 to France.
Scotland will now be in the hat for the elite round and the draw will take place on Friday 11th November as they look to reach the championships in Czech Republic.
Head coach Pauline Hamill told www.scottishfa.co.uk: "My focus is always on the team getting better and individuals developing. Whilst the scoreline matters, it's also about playing teams from a higher level to help us learn and give us more experience.
"The players really improved over the course of the eight days they were together and to qualify after their first two matches was a good achievement.
"All of the girls have been inspired by the 'A' squad's latest achievements and are aspiring to reach that level one day."
Scotland Under-17 squad:
Jade Baillie (Celtic), Kiera Gibson (Celtic), Lindsey Blues (Celtic), Nicole Cameron (Celtic), Leah Eddie (Central Girls Academy), Michaela McAlonie (Hearts Ladies), Kimberley McAlpine (Central Girls Academy), Shaney McCabe (Central Girls Academy), Georgia Adderley (Spartans), Kaela McDonald-Nguah (Celtic), Kristie McIntosh (Glasgow City), Jemma Marriott (Glasgow City), Amy Muir (Rangers), Elena Santoyo-Brown (Boroughmuir Thistle), Abby Callaghan (Celtic), Morgan Cross (Central Girls Academy), Jamie-Lee Napier (Celtic), Megan Robb (Dundee United).
The 2017 SSE Women's FA Cup Final will be played at Wembley Stadium connected by EE for the third year running.
Tickets for the Final, which takes place on Saturday 13th May (KO TBC), are on sale now.
For the second season, thanks to the FA's partnership with SSE, all children can attend the Final for free. Adult tickets are priced £15 and concession and group booking discounts apply.
Supporters who buy their tickets by the end of November will be entered into prize draws, including visits from FA WSL players and hospitality tickets for the Emirates FA Cup Final.
More than 33,000 supporters attended last year's Final, a record for the competition, where Arsenal overcame London rivals Chelsea thanks to a goal from Danielle Carter.
For this season, the total prize money has more than tripled - from £70,000 to £240,000. The winning club will receive £15,000, instead of £5,000 as in previous years and can receive up to £27,000 in total. The runners-up will receive £10,000.
Kelly Simmons, FA director of football participation and development, said: "It was very important to secure Wembley again for the Final so that we can continue building the momentum around the growth of the Cup and the women's game in this country.
"Last year's Final was another great occasion for the game and with attendances increasing year-on-year, it looks set to be another big moment for women's football.
"It was also the right time to look at prize money and we've worked hard to increase this at every level of the competition which will allow clubs to reinvest back into their sides and make the incentive to progress through even higher."
Colin Banks, head of sponsorship at SSE, said: "It's fantastic news that The Final will be back at Wembley Stadium again next year.
"It was important to us to help make the match free for children to attend again.
"Nearly half the crowd in May were children and this helps make a wonderful family atmosphere to such a fantastic occasion.
"We hope that attending the SSE Women's FA Cup Final will also inspire more girls to play football themselves.
"Increasing grassroots support for girls is one of the key aims of our partnership with the FA and through our SSE Girls United participation programme we hope to encourage both future players and supporters of the women's football."
One match was played in the Northern Division on Sunday and it saw West Bromwich Albion move out of the bottom two with a 2-0 victory over Nottingham Forest 2-0. Substitute Hazzana Parnell was the heroine for Albion as she came off the bench to score both goals within the final fourteen minutes.
The teams who occupied the bottom two positions ahead of the game met each other in the solitary match in the division. Swindon Town were to lift themselves two places up the table by scoring seven times without reply against Queen's Park Rangers. Amy Watham led the scoring for the Wiltshire side with a hat-trick, Sam Hallsworth weighed in with a brace and there was one apiece from Sandy Abi-Elias and Ellie Maynard.
Northern Division One
Chorley closed the gap to within a single point of leaders Guiseley Vixens by winning 3-1 against Chester-le-Street Town, who remain in mid-table. Charlotte Higginson and Vicky Coope put Chorley two ahead inside the opening ten minutes before Jennifer King wrapped up the points with the third goal during the second half.
Midlands Division One
Sporting Khalsa stretched their good run in the league to four successive victories when they defeated Long Eaton Utd 4-1. Megan Wilton and Jodie Bragan each netted twice with Amy Pashley replying, but Sporting were also indebted to goalkeeper Toni Parkes who pulled off a string of superb saves to help guide her team to victory.
South East Division One
AFC Wimbledon are back on top of the table again after they shared a 1-1 draw with Gillingham. The Gills, who remain the division's only unbeaten team, did take a seventeenth minute lead through Jade Keogh but the Dons hit back just after the half hour with an equaliser from Emma Keady and the points were shared.
South West Division One
Southampton Saints' very promising start to the season continued on Sunday and they are back in the top three following their 5-3 victory over Brislington. Becki Bath spearheaded the win for the Saints by bagging a hat-trick while Catherine Browning and Leanne Lapham were also on target, Brislington replying with strikes from Zoe Gunter, Polly Wardle and Sophie Whelan.
Charlton Athletic 3 C & K Basildon 2
Charlton Athletic moved into the third round of the FAWPL Cup by beating C & K Basildon by the odd goal in five at Thamesmead Town FC.
A fine Kit Graham hat-trick was the key to the victory, with Charlton ahead early and the visitors always playing catch up, which led to thoroughly entertaining match played at a lively pace throughout.
Charlton opened well, moving the ball crisply and threatening the C & K goal. Keeper Nikita Runnacles dived low to turn away a Graham shot on nine minutes and was up quickly to hold the follow up shot. However, there was no stopping the opener on 20 minutes. Graham was fouled on the edge of the area and lifted a perfectly weighted and directed free kick over the wall beyond the leaping keeper and just under the bar.
Avilla Bergin was very lively down the left and struck the bar with a curled shot with Runnacles doing well to prevent the rebound being forced home from a yard out. It was Graham who added the Charlton second around the half hour, finishing calmly when sent clear of the last defender.
C & K were back in the tie on 35 minutes when Zoe Rushen found space and hit a super long range effort beyond Alex Baker. The Charlton keeper did well right on the break to keep Charlton ahead, moving smartly to her left to hold an Amy Nash strike from distance.
Charlton again started strongly, adding a third goal on 50 minutes. Clever play down the left from Bergin and Katie Flack won a corner which the same pair took quickly. A well weighted cross found the head of Graham, darting between two defenders to send a powerful effort into the corner from eight yards out.
Sam Pittuck nearly added a fourth with a powerful first time effort just over and it seemed that Charlton might go on to match the six goals they scored in the league meeting between the two. However, despite creating a few more shooting chances, Runnacles was able to gather them comfortably and even when Graham got another header past the keeper from a corner, Kayleigh Xidhas was on hand to clear off the line.
At the other end, substitutes Karissa Rodney and Angela Addison strengthened the C & K attacking threat considerably. Rushen struck the bar with a curled first time shot from the edge of the area, Hannah Porter headed over from a Rushen corner, but the defender was then on hand to reduce the deficit on 88 minutes when a free kick was only half cleared. Another good move set up Lily Mellors twelve yards out but she was well closed down before shooting and Charlton saw out the final minutes for a hard fought win.
Winners of the FAWPL Cup in 2014-15, Charlton will await the outcome of rest of the ties over the coming weeks and the subsequent draw for the third round.
Charlton Athletic: Alex Baker, Katy Flack, Kim Dixson, Grace Coombes, Jenny Newman, Charley Clifford, Sam Pittuck, Avilla Bergin, Rosey Sullivan, Kit Graham, Ruby Southgate. Subs: Flo Jackson, Beth Weller, Rosie Paye.
C & K Basildon: Nikita Runnacles, Paige Bradley, Laura Guyon, Stacey Little, Lily Mellors, Amy Nash, Hannah Porter, Zoe Rushen, Sara Sinclair, Kerry-Ann Stimson, Kayleigh Xidhas. Subs: Karissa Rodney, Angela Addison.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Kerry-Anne Stimson slides in to tackle Avilla Bergin
(middle) Nikita Runnacles and Kayleigh Xidhas manage to keep out Jenny Newman
(bottom) Angela Addison tries to clear from Ruby Southgate
Arsenal Ladies are delighted to confirm Kim Little will rejoin the club on a long term contract.
The 26-year-old midfielder returns from Seattle Reign in the United States, where she cemented her position as one of the finest players in the women's game.
Kim scored a total of 34 goals in 67 league appearances for Reign, winning the league's 'Most Valuable Player' award in her debut campaign and the BBC Women's Footballer of the Year award for 2016. She also excelled on loan with Melbourne City last season, netting nine times in 12 appearances for the Australian side.
The Scotland international first joined the Gunners from Hibernian as a teenager in 2008 and won 11 major trophies in her first spell with Arsenal Ladies. She was the Super League's top scorer in 2012 and the first-ever PFA Women's Player of the Year in 2013.
Arsenal Ladies manager Pedro Martinez Losa is delighted to welcome Kim back to the club, telling www.arsenal.com: "Kim is one of the outstanding talents in the women's game and we are so pleased that she will be rejoining us. She has proven that she can create and score goals at the highest level time and time again, and she will be a fantastic asset to our team as we prepare to challenge for the top honours in 2017."
Kim will join up with Arsenal in January 2017 to begin preparations for the new season.
Manchester City will be up against Brondby in the UEFA Women's Champions League Round of 16 after the draw was made in Nyon today.
The sole remaining British team in the competition will host the first leg against the Danish side, who reached the semi finals in 2007 before losing to Arsenal. The first leg at the Academy Stadium will be on 9/10 November, with the return in Denmark a week later.
Holders Olympique Lyonnais will be up against Swiss Champions FC Zurich whilst VfL Wolfsburg, conquerors of Chelsea, must play Eskilstuna Utd who knocked out Glasgow City. Bayern Munich, who eliminated Hibernian, have been paired with Russian side WFC Rossiyanka.
Round of 16 draw:
Paris Saint Germain (France) v BIIK-Kazygurt (Kazakhstan)
FC Barcelona (Spain) v FC Twente (Holland)
Slavia Prague (Czech Republic) v FC Rosengard (Sweden)
Manchester City (England) v Brondby IF (Denmark)
Brescia (Italy) v Fortuna Hjorring (Denmark)
Olympique Lyonnais (France) v FC Zurich (Switzerland)
Eskilstuna Utd (Sweden) v VfL Wolfsburg (Germany)
Bayern Munich (Germany) v WFC Rossiyanka (Russia)
Changes are ahead for the senior Wolves Women's team with a new management structure in place to support the development of female football right through from Under-10s to the senior team.
Steve Cullis, who has been the senior team manager for the past two seasons, is moving into a new role, supporting the development of the Regional Talent Club structure, part of the FA elite's girls football offer that Wolves Community Trust deliver.
Steve speaks passionately about his time at the helm. "My main focus when I was appointed manager was to leave the squad in a better position to where I found them," he said.
"As a group we have worked really hard on building a positive learning environment to allow the players to progress and develop.
"I wanted to bring the Under-18s closer to the senior team and given them a better opportunity of progressing.
"I feel that with the support of the players and coaching staff, as a squad they are in are now ready to take on the challenge of progressing through the leagues.
"However, I think it's now time for me to concentrate my efforts on developing the infrastructure we have at the Regional Talent Club.
"We have worked really hard at Wolves Community Trust to gain the licence of the RTC, allowing us to play in the elite player pathway.
"I'm excited about the opportunity to drive this forward and ultimately produce more players for our first team."
Over the past few weeks a new Head Coach has been introduced to the senior squad who will take over from Steve.
Tim Dudding, who has enjoyed previous successes with West Bromwich Albion and currently works with the University of Worcester Ladies First team, has been given the role as Senior Team Head Coach and took charge of his first game this weekend, with Steve supporting from the stands.
"I am delighted to have been offered the role of Head Coach at Wolves Women FC," said Tim.
"It is evident that Wolves Women is an exciting place to be, with the club as a whole moving in the right direction.
"I am honoured to be offered this post, and look to build on the hard work of those previously involved. "
To celebrate Tim's appointment, this weekend's home fixture against Sporting Khalsa Women will be a female football focus fixture, with all the Regional Talent Club players in attendance, performing half time demonstrations and the U10s squad being mascots for the day. It would be great to see lots of Wolves fans in attendance! The game is a 2pm kick off, at Hednesford Town FC, Keys Park, WS12 2DZ.
Lionesses supporters can now vote for their 2016 Vauxhall England Women's Player of the Year and England Women's Young Player of the Year.
Four players have made the cut: Chelsea forward Karen Carney, Arsenal midfielder Jordan Nobbs and Manchester City duo Steph Houghton and Jill Scott.
The Young Player of the Year shortlist is comprised of Chelsea's Millie Bright, Arsenal's Danielle Carter, Liverpool's Alex Greenwood and Manchester City's Nikita Parris.
Supporters can place their vote at https://www.vauxhallfootball.co.uk/#poty. Voting is open until Monday 31st October. The winners will be announced at The FA Women's Football Awards which take place at Wembley Stadium on Friday 18th November.
The awards celebrate the best of international and domestic football, which includes player, manager and club achievements across the FA Women's Super League (WSL) and FA Women's Premier League (WPL).
Women's and girls' grassroots football will also be recognised with a We Can Play category and there will also be an Outstanding Contribution to Women's Football award.
England secured qualification to next summer's Euros with an unbeaten record, scoring 32 goals and conceding just once. They will find out their tournament opponents on Tuesday 8 November when the draw takes place in Rotterdam.
FA director of football participation and development Kelly Simmons said: "It has been another great year for the England team, qualifying for next summer's Euros in such impressive fashion.
"There has also been excellent work taking place at grassroots level, not least with the fantastic numbers we've seen taking part in the two FA Girls' Football Weeks with more than 130,000 females getting involved.
"We're looking forward to the awards, celebrating achievements on the pitch and recognising all of the hard work that is taking place off the pitch to keep pushing the women's game on."
Charlton Athletic's quest to win back the Premier League Cup gathered further momentum as they beat C & K Basildon 3-2 to go through to the Third Round.
Kit Graham was the heroine for the Addicks as she scored a hat-trick to give her side the victory, while Hannah Porter and Zoe Rushen replied for C & K (see match report).
Derby County won a closely fought tie 2-1 away to Stoke City after extra time. Ashleigh Hayes netted for Stoke and Derby found the net through Ellie May, before Melissa Johnson settled matters in Derby's favour ten minutes into the extra period.
Goalkeeper Lucy Gardner played a pivotal role in an entertaining cup tie at Keys Park which saw Wolverhampton Wanderers progress to the Third Round after winning 4-2 on penalties against Brighouse Town, after the match had finished level at 2-2. Anna Perks and Amber Quick twice gave Wolves the lead with Brighouse battling back to equalise on each occasion through Jodie Redgrave. Gardner helped keep her team in the game with two great saves before keeping out one of the penalties during the resulting shootout, before tucking home the winning kick herself.
Loughborough Foxes powered through by running out 10-1 winners over TNS Ladies. Charlotte Cooper led the scoring with a hat-trick, Becky Matlock and Emma Pilling added two apiece and the total was completed by Shauna Chambers, Siobhan Eastham and Chloe Young.
Hull City booked their place in the last sixteen with a 3-1 victory over Middlesbrough. Katie Thompson, Rebecca Beech and Jasmine Whitwell were all on target for Hull, with 'Boro's consolation coming from Emma Foster.
Former finalists Huddersfield Town made it through to the last sixteen but only via a penalty shootout after sharing a thrilling 4-4 draw with Guiseley Vixens.
Debbie Hastings' early strike for Huddersfield was cancelled out by Alarna Fuller but Hastings netted a second leading up to half time. Emily Heckler then increased Huddersfield's lead but Guiseley produced a stirring fightback and goals from Abbie McIver and Natalie Brace took the game to extra time. Heckler scored her second five minutes into the extra period, before an own goal levelled things again and ensured the match went into a shootout where Huddersfield came out as 5-4 winners.
Mossley Hill were able to celebrate their first victory of the season, 3-2 against Loughborough Students. Megan Brodie netted a brace and Nikki James the other for Mossley, with Georgie Dassow and Holly Gibson replying.
Luton Town's long, long journey to Plymouth Argyle turned out to be a victorious one as they defeated the Devon side 4-2. 16-year-old substitute Jodie Bellinger had a great day for Luton as she scored a sixteen minute hat-trick during the second half and Nicola Henman added the other goal, while Tori Marks and Kayleigh Brown were on target for Argyle.
Bradford City ran out 6-0 winners away to Crewe Alexandra. Shauna Legge opened the scoring for Bradford midway through the first half with Charlotte Stuart, Lucy Sowerby and Laura Elford adding further goals before half time. In the second half, Hannah Campbell increased her side's lead and Elford completed the win with her second.
Leicester City Women progressed at the expense of lower division opponents, beating Rotherham Utd 6-1. Kayleigh Hillier (2), Chan Robinson, Eva Rogers, Sophie Domingo and Rebecca Carnelly all scored for Leicester, Rotherham's reply coming from Bradie Wild.
Meanwhile Leicester City Ladies were also winners, edging out Steel City Wanderers 2-1, thanks to goals from Caroline Maslen and Jessica Richards.
Liverpool Marshalls Feds made the trip to Leeds Ladies and returned with a 4-1 victory under their belts. Carla Lee gave the Feds a first minute lead which was cancelled out on the half hour by Veatriki Sarri but during the second half, strikes from Roisin Havelin, Rosie Kinvig and Lynsey Longhurst saw Liverpool Feds home.
Another Merseyside team to go through were Tranmere Rovers with a 2-0 success at Solihull Ladies. A goal in each half from Georgia Wood proved to be enough to earn Tranmere a fine win.
St Nicholas and Shanklin met for the third time this season and second week in succession, with St Nicholas avenging their defeat in the SSE Women's FA Cup by running out 7-2 winners. Jodie Arkell led the scoring with a hat-trick and Connie Short was on target twice, with Tammi Bennett and Sophie Morgan adding the others for the home side, Shanklin's replies coming from Naomi Cooper and Katy Rawlinson.
Photo - Shanklin's Tiffany Moul tries to close down Jodie Arkell of St Nicholas.
Abergavenny Women returned to league action with a 7-1 victory over Briton Ferry Llansawel, which keeps them two points clear at the top of the Welsh Premier Women's League.
Kate Jeremiah put the league leaders in front with four minutes and Lyndsey Davies went on to add a second, before Lucy Powell reduced the arrears for the newly promoted side on the stroke of half time. After the break, Davies continued her blistering form in front of goal by netting four times in total and Amy Thrupp completed the scoring with a brace.
Swansea City made sure of keeping hold of second place as they ran out 6-0 winners away to Aberystwyth Town. The Swans led at half time through a second minute goal from Stacey John and doubled their lead in the first minute of the second half with a goal from Ria Hughes. John went on to add two more to seal a hat-trick while Sophie Hancock and Emma Beynon also got on the scoresheet for Swansea.
Cardiff Met Ladies are up into third place following their 3-1 success away to Rhyl Ladies. Erin Murray opened the scoring for Met just before the break but Rhyl struck back quickly and Ceri Purvis ensured they were back on level terms by half time. Jassie Vasconcelos restored Met's lead midway through the second half and Chloe O'Connor wrapped up the win with nine minutes remaining.
Port Talbot Town registered their first win of the season when beating Cyncoed Ladies 4-0. The first half ended goalless but three minutes after the restart, Vicky Stratton gave Port Talbot the lead. Jessica Hammett made it two shortly after the halfway point and Sam Morgan added a brace in the last ten minutes.
Photo - Lucy Hughes of Aberystwyth Town battles with Swansea City's Katy Hosford (www.atfc.org.uk).
Glasgow City will meet Hibernian in the SSE Scottish Cup Final after both sides overcame SWPL 2 opposition in their respective semi finals on Sunday.
Four goals from Sarah Crilly, a hat-trick from Clare Shine and a brace from Carla Boyce ensured Glasgow City made it easily through to the SSE Scottish Cup Final after defeating Glasgow Girls 9-0 at Ainslie Park in Edinburgh.
Boyce showed what was to come from the Cup holders as she fired City ahead after only 60 seconds on the clock. Good play from Crilly released Shine and she buried the ball past Storrie in the Glasgow Girls goal to make it 2-0.
Number three arrived from Shine again as she pounced on the keeper's parry after an initial save from a Lauren McMurchie effort. Boyce scored her second and City's fourth goal on 20 minutes firing low into the bottom corner. Crilly buried the ball into the back of the net eight minutes later to make it 5-0 and Shine got her hat-trick on 39 minutes. Crilly finished off an excellent Nicola Docherty cross on the half time whistle to give City a very comfortable seven-goal lead at the break.
City continued to dominate and Crilly hit a looping effort high into the top corner for her hat-trick before getting her fourth and her team's final goal of the game with a clever lob of the keeper after a diagonal ball from Brogan Hay.
Hibernian secured their place in the Final after they beat Hearts 5-0 in the other semi final in the double header. Abi Harrison and Rachel McLauchlan both came close to opening the scoring for Hibernian, before the latter did just that ten minutes before the break. A low cross into the box found McLauchlan, who was on hand to tap into the net from just six yards out.
In the second half, Hibernian did not have to wait long to double their advantage and gain a firmer grip on the proceedings.
Cailin Michie was fouled in the box and a penalty was awarded, which Lizzie Arnot coolly slotted into the net just eleven minutes after the restart.
Hibernian continued to be on top and effectively countered the pressing tactics from their opponents, which brought about a further three goals in the closing stages of the match. Sarah Ewens embarked on a great solo run, before she picked out Arnot with a pass and the winger fired the ball into the net through the legs of the goalkeeper.
Ten minutes later and Arnot had completed her hat-trick. She received the ball in the middle of the park before driving towards the box, where the number seven was able to rifle an effort beyond the 'keeper. In injury time, some gloss was added to the scoreline when Ewens smashed the ball into the roof of the net from six yards out.
The SSE Scottish Cup Final will take place on Sunday 6th November, 3pm kick off at Hamilton's Superseal Stadium.
Blackburn Rovers have made an excellent start to the season in the Northern Division, their 4-1 victory over Nottingham Forest on Sunday giving them a lead of five points at the top of the table.
We talked to Blackburn winger Emma Rankin, who joined the club during the summer, and she feels that the team is capable of building on their good start and mounting a serious challenge for the title:
WSS: Did the win over Nottingham Forest complete something of a perfect week for you with three victories?
ER: Of course! Coming away with nine points from three games in the space of a week was a huge achievement for us. However, it is important that this perfect week is the catalyst to move forward and continue with this success.
WSS: How important was it to build on the win against Fylde during the week when you played Forest?
ER: Our game against Fylde in midweek was one of our toughest challenges so far. We were all ecstatic with the result against but we knew how important it was to win our game on Sunday against Nottingham so our hard work on Wednesday did not go to waste.
WSS: After finishing third last season, was anything different done during the summer to try and go those extra places higher this time?
ER: I am unable to compare this pre-season to last but over the summer, we followed a challenging pre-season schedule which was tailored to our needs.
WSS: Saffron Jordan and Faye McCoy have been in great goalscoring form this season but is your defensive record so far a big boost?
ER: It's brilliant to have attackers on exceptional form but as well as scoring goals, we are now becoming increasingly difficult to break down defensively.
WSS: Now the focus over the next two weeks is on the County Cup and League Cup, are those two competitions that the club is also targeting to try and win?
ER: These are certainly in our targets as a club. We will be hoping to win the county cup for the third year in a row and winning the league cup is also something myself and the girls are determined to win.
WSS: Five points clear at the top with a third of the season played, how big is the belief that the club can go all the way in the title race?
ER: We all believe this is in our capabilities and are striving to achieve the top spot. However we will not get ahead of ourselves. We are very pleased with our start to the season and will continue to build on this. It's a long season; we play our football each week and focus on the game in hand. The atmosphere is extremely positive, we are working exceptionally well as a team and each and every player battles for one another week in and week out.
WSS: The Northern Division table is traditionally a close one, which teams do you think will be your main challengers?
ER: There's been lots of talk about Fylde being our main challengers; however we have now shown we can beat them and need to make sure we do so again when they visit Bamber Bridge. We are yet to play Middlesbrough and Derby who too have had a reasonable start to the season.
Our thanks to Emma!
Photo - Andrew Rowlands
A record 130,000 girls and women have taken part in FA Girls' Football Week in 2016.
More than 80,000 people have taken part in this week's activity, almost four times the original target, while 50,000 people participated in April's FA Girls' Football Week.
The total was announced at an event in Birmingham, organised by Aston University and Walsall College, where more than 100 local students took part in football sessions.
FA head of women's football Baroness Sue Campbell and England Women assistant coach Marieanne Spacey attended the event, along with Birmingham City duo Kerys Harrop and Emily Westwood, taking part in a Q&A session with the participants.
Universities, schools, colleges, community groups, clubs and other organisations across England have put on 1,485 events throughout the current Girls' Football Week, which was created to drive female participation by encouraging academic and sports institutions and organisations to run football sessions.
Baroness Campbell said: "These figures demonstrate what a huge appetite there is for women and girls to play football when they are given the opportunity.
"We've committed to doubling female participation by 2020 and weeks like this will go a long way to us attracting more players into the game and building the momentum we will need to achieve that.
"We would like to thank all of the organisations that have put on sessions and those that have played football, and worked so hard to make this week such a success. Hopefully it will encourage women and girls to carry on playing the game throughout the year."
Spacey added: "It was great to be here today and meet so many women and girls who were enjoying playing the game.
"Playing football and weeks like this offer so much more than just the game itself, it's also the opportunity to be outside, be active and make friends. Without football organising these events, it might not be as possible."
The week has been delivered in partnership with the Independent Schools FA, English Schools FA, Associations of Colleges Sport, British Universities & Colleges Sport, the Premier League and the English Football League.
Mark Sampson has named his 23-player England squad who will play two international matches this month as part of their Euro 2017 preparations.
Along with England's game against France in Doncaster on Friday 21st October (8pm BST), the Lionesses will also travel to Guadalajara where they will face Spain on Tuesday 25th October (5pm BST).
Manchester City striker Toni Duggan returns to the squad after winning the league and cup double with her club, while Chelsea midfielder Millie Bright, who made her debut as a substitute in a 2-0 win away in Belgium last month, keeps her place.
The matches mark the start of England's work ahead of next summer's Euro Finals in Holland. The Lionesses will find out their opponents when the draw is made in Rotterdam on Tuesday 8th November.
Sampson said: "Both France and Spain will be challenging matches for us but these are the type of opportunities this group looks forward to and are an important part of our preparations for next summer.
"We will be working hard over the camp to prepare ourselves as best we can to win both matches while also having one eye on the Euros.
"We are looking forward to travelling to Doncaster. It's a club with a rich history in the women's game and a stadium that our players and myself are familiar with."
Tickets are still on sale for England v France, priced £7.50 for adults and £3.50 for children. A family ticket (two adults and two children), priced £15, is also available and group booking and Charter Standard discounts apply. Tickets can be bought via www.TheFA.com/Tickets.
England's match against Spain will be played at the Estadio Municipal Pedro Escartin in Guadalajara.
Japan U17 3 (Endo 2, Ueki 45,79) England U17 0
England are out of the FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup after going down to a very strong Japan side in their quarter final tie.
It was never going to be an easy task for England against the country defending the title and who had won all of their group games, and this was to be even harder without Georgia Stanway who missed the match through suspension.
However any hopes of keeping things tight during the opening stages were blown away with just two minutes on the clock. After losing possession on the edge of the Japanese penalty area, Japan counter attacked and Saori Takanada's accurate low cross picked out Riko Ueki whose shot was saved by Ellie Roebuck but Jun Endo was on hand to tuck home the rebound and give Japan the lead.
The goal clearly settled Japan into their familiar pattern of play but it was a long ball that caught England out on ten minutes, chased down by Fuka Nagano who raced clear on goal but the Japanese captain shot wastefully over the bar with only Roebuck to beat.
Takanada shot wide at the far post following good work on the left from Rio Kanekatsu but, although losing Jessie Jones to injury, England began to settle down and come more into the game as an attacking force.
England won a couple of free kicks in dangerous positions but both resulted in disappointing deliveries which were easily dealt with. Despite the hard work of Ellie Brazil up front and Niamh Charles out wide, they were unable to fashion a clear cut chance on goal.
In the final minute of the half, another clinical counter attack from Japan ended with Endo sliding a through ball into the path of Ueki and she gave Roebuck no chance with a lethal finish to double her side's lead.
Japan started the second half on the front foot and should really have made it three within six minutes of the restart when Takanada released Hinata Miyazawa in the area and after cutting back onto her right foot, she crashed her shot against the underside of the bar, the ball bouncing on the line before being cleared.
England were then to produce their best chance so far, just before the hour when Alessia Russo had the chance to run at the Japanese defence and outpaced her marker before unleashing a shot which looked destined for the far corner but Momoko Tanaka pulled off a good diving save and Miyu Takahira did well to prevent Brazil from slotting home the rebound.
Now England were starting to look a threat and a corner nearly led to them pulling a goal back, Tanaka's weak punch only went as far as Connie Scofield but the midfielder was unlucky to see her goalbound shot hit one of her team mates before bouncing harmlessly wide.
Japan were still a threat going forward though and Kanekatsu made a dangerous run which saw her carry the ball for around 50 yards unchecked before her shot was saved by Roebuck at the second attempt. Moments later, Remina Chiba cut in from the left and her effort bobbled awkwardly in front of Roebuck who did well to recover and gather under pressure.
Another chance came Japan's way when Ueki challenged Roebuck as she cleared, the ball rolling straight to Endo who shot wastefully wide, although Lois Joel had just done enough to prevent her getting in a clear shot.
At the other end, Russo almost dragged England back into the game with an angled shot which was blocked on the line but a minute later, Japan struck a devastating third blow. Ueki picked the ball up on the halfway line and ran at the England defence, carrying the ball to around 20 yards out before drilling an unstoppable shot into the top corner, past a helpless Roebuck.
Seira Kojima hit the side netting as Japan sought more goals against a desperately tired England side but, with the excellent Lotte Wubben-Moy and Anna Patten managing to hold firm, they made sure of not conceding again.
Whilst the final result was obviously a disappointing one for the England side, they can look back on a good achievement of reaching the last eight and only going out to arguably the best side in the competition.
Japan U17: Momoko Tanaka, Reina Wakisaka, Miyu Takahira, Riko Ushijima, Rio Kanekatsu (sub Mayu Karahashi 82mins), Saori Takanada, Hinata Miyazawa (sub Seira Kojima 74mins), Riko Ueki, Fuka Nagano, Jun Endo, Oto Kanno (sub Remina Chiba 60mins). Subs not used: Chiaki Kogure, Mayu Mizuguchi, Nano Ono, Hana Takahashi, Miyu Tomita, Nanami Kitamura, Sakura Nojima.
England U17: Ellie Roebuck, Lois Joel (sub Ella Toone 80mins), Taylor Hinds, Jessie Jones (sub Hollie Olding 25mins), Anna Patten, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Alessia Russo, Anna Filbey (sub Hannah Cain 57mins), Ellie Brazil, Connie Scofield, Niamh Charles. Subs not used: Katie Startup, Georgia Valentine, Flo Allen, Grace Smith, Laura Hooper, Kelsey Pearson.
Manchester City are the only British team left in the UEFA Women's Champions League after they successfully completed a 6-0 aggregate victory over Zvezda-2005.
Nick Cushing's side travelled to Russia holding a 2-0 lead from the first leg and were facing a side that had once reached the Final and were unbeaten at home in the competition since 2009.
An away goal was going to put Manchester City in a very strong position in the tie and it was Jennifer Beattie who fired them in front midway through the first half. Nine minutes later, Lucy Bronze doubled their advantage on the night from a corner, netting her third goal in successive matches. In the second half, another corner led to Beattie getting her second goal and Izzy Christiansen wrapped up a 4-0 win with the final goal.
Hibernian meanwhile travelled for their second leg against Bayern Munich with the tie well beyond them. Trailing by six goals going into the match, a tough night was in prospect and they found themselves three goals behind, Anna Gerhardt scoring twice and Lisa Evans the other, before Abigail Harrison notched up their first goal in the tie. Vivianne Miedema netted a fourth for Bayern during the second half but Hibs had worked hard throughout the match and will be better for the experience when they return to Europe next season.
It was also 'mission impossible' for Chelsea as they sought to overturn a 3-0 deficit when they played away to VfL Wolfsburg. Chelsea needed to withstand early pressure but then, on the stroke of half time, Eniola Aluko seized on a bad backpass to give her side the lead and keep any hopes of a great fightback alive. They came very close after the break when Karen Carney struck the woodwork but Wolfsburg banished any lingering doubts they might have had when Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir equalised with ten minutes remaining. The game finished 1-1 and Chelsea had salvaged some pride but had ended up victims to the same side for the second year running.
On Thursday night, Glasgow City went into the second leg with Eskilstuna Utd trailing 1-0 from the previous meeting. However it was the Swedish side who took the lead after just seven minutes at the Excelsior Stadium through Olivia Schough, giving her side a valuable away goal. City fought hard to get back into the game and in the opening minute of the second half, Sarah Crilly brought them level on the night. Just before the hour mark though, Schough was to strike again with her second goal and this sealed a 2-1 win for Eskilstuna, 3-1 on aggregate.
Marieanne Spacey has named a 16-player Next Gen squad for a training camp at St. George's Park. The squad will meet on Sunday for a four-day camp.
The Next Gen group has replaced the previous Under-23 set-up, though the squad will still compete in U23-aged matches and competitions. Spacey, who is also the senior team's assistant coach, manages the Next Gen team.
The changes are designed to maximise the development of the Next Gen players, to strengthen the pathway into the senior team and allowing older players to be part of the squad.
The Next Gen squad will train alongside the England Women's senior team, who also meet at St. George's Park on Sunday as they prepare for their upcoming home game against France, at the Keepmoat Stadium on Friday 21st October.
Spacey said: "We're looking forward to getting back in camp and working hard with this group of players.
"After just two camps, we're already seeing the benefits of setting up the Next Gen group and we're now looking to further develop the players and the group next week.
"It's really important that we're working alongside the senior group as well so there is alignment and consistency across the age groups over style of play and what we want from our players.
"I'm particularly pleased to welcome Sarah Mayling, Gabby George and Jess Carter to the group after some impressive performances with our U20s, which can set a real example to all of our younger players."
England Next Gen squad:
East Midlands League
In the only game in the Premier Division on Sunday, Mansfield Town took full advantage of their nearest rivals' inactivity to open up a seven point lead at the top of the table. Androulle Kokkinou and Laura Watton scored the goals as Mansfield won 2-1 away to third placed Rise Park.
There was a change of leadership in Division One North where Woodlands Ladies went top by beating Arnold Town Development 3-2 courtesy of Anna Webster, Samantha Barlow and an own goal. Calverton MW are in second following their 6-2 success at Winterton Rangers in which Stephanie Morrell hit a hat-trick along with Saqqara Nugent, Jenna Stocks and Shantay Wright. Grimsby Borough and Draycott Victoria finished level at 1-1, goals from Amy Kay and Natalie Loughenbury respectively, whilst goals from Rachael Bell, Natalie Gibson and Rachel Murray earned Ollerton Town a 3-1 win away to Teversal.
AFC Leicester belatedly began their campaign in Division One South and their opening league match ended in defeat, 2-0 at the hands of Loughborough Foxes Vixens. Samantha Clarke netted both goals to earn Loughborough their first win of the season.
Eastern Region League
One match was played in the Premier Division on Sunday, at Bedford Ladies where the home side defeated Writtle 3-2 to go four points clear at the top. Maya Sidhu netted twice and Jodie Molloy the other for Bedford, with Amy Simmons and Georgina Tricker replying.
In Division One, Hutton moved themselves to within two points of leadership by winning 6-1 away to Hoddesdon Town Owls. Rianne Dimmock (2), Katie Lowen (2), Kirsti McLeavy and Keely Walker scored the goals to take Hutton up to third. Kirsty Feasey was on target for Colney Heath in their 1-1 draw with Little Thurrock Dynamos, who replied through Katy Judd, and goals from Lynsey Bowman, Jodie Osborne and Paula Drane gave Silver End a 3-2 victory away to Stevenage Ladies Res.
London & South East League
Carshalton Athletic lifted themselves into the top four after winning 3-0 away to Camden Town in the solitary league match to take place. Breeze Carmichael gave Carshalton the lead and they went on to seal the win with further strikes from Laura Curtis and Eloise Williams.
North East League
League leaders Barnsley received a setback as they were beaten 3-2 by York City who avenged their defeat seven days earlier. With just two players per side (including substitutes) difference from a week earlier, York produced a marked turnaround in fortune to beat a Barnsley side who had comfortably won 6-0 when the pair met first time around. Lucy Lendhill (2) and Sara Renfrew were on target for York with Danielle Lowe and Rebecca Wilson the Barnsley scorers, their side remaining on top on goal difference. Katie Waymouth and Milly Wilson scored for promoted Oughtibridge, who lost 5-2 at home to Castleford White Rose for whom Becky Kendell bagged a hat-trick along with singles from Aimi Beresford and Tiffany Lyons. Castleford are up to fifth whilst East Yorkshire Carnegie also climbed the table by defeating Wakefield 8-3. Sian Bentley hit a hat-trick and Kayleigh James a brace, with Jasmine Read, Rebecca Shipp and Molly Storey completing the scoring.
Northern Division leaders Durham Cestria ran out 11-0 winners over Guisborough Ladies to preserve their lead of three points. Bethany McIlvenny, Stephanie Stafford and Anna Young all bagged hat-tricks with Sophie Tierney and Molly Holder adding the others. Sophie Tinson and Alice Turner were also hat-trick scorers for York City Res as they defeated Lowick Utd 6-2 to go level on points with second placed Hartlepool Utd. Cramlington Utd head the chasing pack following their 5-2 success over Prudhoe Town in which Emma Graham, Rachel Best, Chloe Roylance, Kirsty Armstrong and Hannah Turnbull all scored. Natasha Goodall, Rebecca Henry and Nicole Davis netted the goals for Blyth Town Lions in their 3-1 win away to Redcar Town.
After being held to a goalless draw by Altofts Ladies, Southern Division table toppers Westella & Willerby remain in front but now on goal difference from Doncaster Belles (Women's), who defeated Courts City 5-0 with goals from Sophie Brown (2), Jessica Andrew, Loren Turner and Chantelle Willis. Aimee Lindley hit a hat-trick along with Paige Conlan, Megan Toohie and Ellie Worsley for AFC Preston in their 6-4 victory over Harrogate Railway whilst Malet Lambert YC recorded their first victory in style, scoring eleven times without reply past Cleethorpes Town. Hannah Spencer was on target four times and Natalie Gray weighed in with a hat-trick, the total being completed by Danielle Frank, Katie Shepherd, Ellie Tanser and Georgie Warvill.
North West League
Manchester Stingers became the first team to take points off Burnley Girls & Ladies this season when they held the Premier Division leaders to a 2-2 draw. Burnley head the table by three points from three teams, led by Bolton Wanderers who moved above Blackpool after beating them 5-1. City of Manchester complete the trio of chasing teams following their 5-3 success away to CMB Ladies. Blackburn Community are off the bottom of the table after they won 5-0 against Birkenhead.
Bury Girls & Ladies lead the way in Division One North by six points after recording their sixth straight win, 5-0 against Preston North End. Sir Tom Finney meanwhile maintained their own 100% record in third place, thanks to a 3-1 victory away to Leigh RMI. Kendal Town won for the first time this season, 4-1 over Academy Juniors who are still seeking their first points.
In Division One South, Ellesmere Port Town defeated Curzon Ashton 3-1 to move themselves level on points with leaders FC United of Manchester who were on Cup duty. Altrincham got back to winning ways with a 3-1 success at Liverpool City Ladies Community and this lifts them up to fourth. Northwich Vixens continued their improving form by winning 2-0 against Chorltonians whilst the match between Egerton and Stockport County Blues finished goalless.
South West League
Marine Academy Plymouth are six points behind leaders Bishop's Lydeard following their 9-0 victory away to Frome Town. The prolific Sam Drewery once again led the scoring with a hat-trick and the others came from Jade Beeny, Emily Eaton, Eden May, Nicola Symons, Jade Bryan and Rebekah Rose. The result takes them into second, ahead of Yeovil Town Intermediate on goal difference despite the Somerset side beating Charlestown 4-0.
Holly Chandler and Sian Towler were on the scoresheet for Eastern Division table toppers Forest Green Rovers as they won 2-0 away to Cheltenham Town Development to preserve their advantage of three points. FC Chippenham climbed up to third by beating Team Mendip 11-0, Aleksandra Guzik leading the scoring with a four-goal haul, Ellie Burgess adding three while Chantelle Parry (2), Chloe Butler and Chloe Giles.
In the Western Division, Activate attached themselves to the leading sides with an 8-0 victory over Launceston. Laura Hilleson-Perrett scored a hat-trick, Wensdy Wise added two and there was one apiece from Heidi Davies, Stephanie Warren and Sam Blake-Valerio. Jasmine Liptrott and Jade Sweet were the markswomen as Illogan Ladies won for the first time, 2-0 against Exeter & Tedburn Rangers.
Southern Region League
Winchester City Flyers have taken over as the new league leaders following their 10-1 win against Team Solent. Francesca Thornton spearheaded the win with a hat-trick, Hannah Chaffey and Bethany Norman added two apiece and also on target were Charlotte Warhurst, Lauren Pearce and Charlie Snelling. Milton Keynes City stormed to a 9-1 victory over Bracknell Town to register their first points. Danielle Metcalfe scored a hat-trick and Amy Butler contributed a double, with one each from Danielle Rolph, Sabrina Kidouch, Natalie Keefe and Bianca Luttman.
Following last week's meeting, the newly formed Division One got officially underway on Sunday with the two divisions being combined and results from earlier this season still counting. The new look division is led by Oxford City Nomads after they won 7-0 away to Wycombe Wanderers, Dannie Anderson and Abbie Smith each scoring twice along with Elizabeth Campbell, Gina Ianniello and Emma Kidd. They lead by a point from Barton Rovers who beat Winchester City Flyers Res 6-0 with goals from Gemma Sims (2), Phoebe Cole, Stephanie Nelson, Amelia Sargent and Chloe Tucker. Clara Stringer and Ellen Surtess were on target for Woodley Utd who battled out a 2-2 draw with Wargrave Ladies, who replied through Hannah Sheehan and Courtney Hunt.
West Midlands League
Kingshurst Sporting Club have taken over at the top of the Premier Division with a 1-0 victory over Knowle, giving themselves a lead of three points. Third placed Crusaders went down to a 3-2 defeat at the hands of fast improving Leafield Athletic and Lye Town are in the top half following their 2-1 win against Wolverhampton Sporting.
Stockingford AA Pavilion have stretched their Division One North lead to five points by winning 5-0 away to Florence. Brereton Town meanwhile defeated Bilbrook 7-1 and this has taken them up into second place. Shrewsbury Town have leapt into the top four after scoring eight times without reply against Atherstone Rangers and on a day when the four matches in the division yielded 31 goals, ten of them were at Stone Dominoes but no winner, because they shared a 5-5 draw with Tamworth.
Droitwich Spa are the new leaders of Division One South after they ran out 5-0 winners over Marston Green. They head the table on goal difference from Worcester Utd and by one point from Redditch Utd, who were 1-0 victors in the other game against Kenilworth Town.
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