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Champions start with Belles trip
 Women's Football News 27 Jan 2016
 
FA WSL 1 champions Chelsea will face newly promoted Doncaster Rovers Belles when they begin their title defence in March. 
 
The Blues will face the Belles on Thursday 24th March in their first game of the 2016 season.
 
The league, now in its sixth season, will kick off the day before [Wednesday 23rd March] with FA WSL 2 title winners Reading FC Women travelling to twice winners Arsenal for their opener. Last season's runners-up Manchester City will host Notts County, while Liverpool will face Birmingham City.
 
FA WSL 1 has been expanded this season to nine teams for the first time, a gradual step to the league increasing to 10 teams in 2017. Sunderland's first game of the season is at home against Reading on Saturday 26th March.
 
In FA WSL 2, newly promoted Sheffield FC will host Durham Women in their curtain-raiser on Wednesday 23rd March. Newly-named Bristol City, who were relegated from FA WSL 1, welcome Yeovil Town in a West Country derby match while London Bees host Watford. The following day [Thursday 24th March], Everton will play Aston Villa and Millwall Lionesses will travel to Oxford Utd.
 
The league will take a mid-season break from 26th May until 25th June. The league's final day for both divisions will be on Sunday 6th November.
 
FA director of football participation and development, Kelly Simmons, said: "We're set for another really exciting season in the FA WSL and the opening week's fixtures demonstrate just that.
 
"Last season was a real landmark for women's football in general. We saw record attendances and the awareness and positivity around the game really grow, and the FA WSL clubs played a huge part in this.
 
"It will be a big challenge to continue this momentum without the attention that a major tournament like the World Cup generates but we are confident that the supporter base and interest in the league is strong and that we'll see even more growth in 2016."
 
The full 2016 WSL fixture list can be viewed at our sister website at www.wss2.co.uk.

 
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