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Women's Football News
The FA has launched a new Sister Club Programme ahead of the new FA Women's Super League (FA WSL) season.
More than £100,000 has been invested by the FA into the programme, which aims to drive girl's participation at grassroots level and attendances at FA WSL matches.
Following successful bids, 11 clubs will take part this season - Arsenal, Birmingham City, Bristol City, Doncaster Rovers Belles, Everton, Notts County, Oxford United, Reading, Sheffield FC, Sunderland and Yeovil Town.
The Sister Club Programme will see girls' clubs around the country to become affiliated with their local FA WSL club. As part of the programme, Sister Clubs will gain access to hundreds of match tickets, player appearances, coaching sessions, camps and mascot places. There are two levels of affiliation - gold and silver.
The investment is for each member FA WSL club to employ a Programme Officer will set up and run their programme.
The 2016 FA WSL season kicks off on Wednesday 23 March with FA WSL 2 title winners Reading 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.
The following day last season's FA WSL 1 champions Chelsea will face newly promoted Doncaster Rovers Belles.
In FA WSL 2, promoted Sheffield FC will host Durham in their curtain-raiser on Wednesday 23rd March. Newly named Bristol City, who were relegated from FA WSL 1, welcome Yeovil while London Bees host Watford. The following day [Thursday 24 March] Everton will play Aston Villa and Millwall Lionesses will travel to Oxford United.
FA head of women's leagues and competitions Katie Brazier said: "This programme is a really innovative way to continue building on the league's success and enable clubs to further grow their fan bases.
"We know that the success of the league in terms of both attendance and quality is driven by strong grassroots support and this programme will allow clubs to build this even further.
"We look forward to welcoming all the Sister Clubs and their players at FA WSL games throughout the season."
In 2015 FA WSL attendances rose 48 per cent on the previous season, with the average league attendance per match reaching 1,076.
Grassroots clubs who are interested in becoming a Sister Club can find out more information and contact details for Programme Officers at www.fawsl.com.
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