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Topics - Rach_83

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The FA WSL / Date of County Cup Final Changed
« on: April 10, 2010, 12:49:32 AM »
Due to four Birmingham players (possibly five) being on International call up the date of the County Cup final  (was due to be played 21st April at Solihull Moors FC) will now be played on either Tuesday 4th May or Wednesday 5th May.


England Cup Competitions / FA Women's Cup 5th Round Draw
« on: January 12, 2010, 12:41:16 AM »
FA Women's Cup 5th Round Draw


The draw for the fifth round of The FA Women's Cup was made at Wembley Stadium today but still allows for many permutations, with neither the fourth nor third rounds yet completed.

Should holders Arsenal defeat last season's runners-up Sunderland, they could host Leeds Carnegie, whom they beat to lift the trophy the year before.

At least one side from the top flight will reach the quarter-finals, as Liverpool Feds, Rochdale, Middlesbrough or Curzon Ashton will meet Reading or Aston Villa for a place in the last eight.

Sunday January 24th (1pm)

WFC Fulham or Blackburn Rovers v OOH Lincoln or Sheffield Wednesday

Liverpool Feds/Rochdale or Middlesbrough/Curzon Ashton v Reading or Aston Villa

Birmingham City or Derby County v Doncaster Rovers Belles or Havant & Waterlooville/Cardiff City

Bristol Academy or West Ham United v Colchester United or Barnet

Norwich City/MK Dons or Newquay/Yeovil Town v Nottingham Forest or Leeds City Vixens

Everton or Queens Park Rangers v Luton Town/Cambridge WFC or Portsmouth

Arsenal or Sunderland v Leeds Carnegie or Watford

Preston North End/Liverpool or Chelsea v Leicester City WFC or Millwall Lionesses

Still no Wembley invite but Hope Powell is enjoying the party

England's coach would consider offers to manage male teams but will be happy as women's performance director

Anna Kessel  -, Thursday 10 December 2009

Reflecting on the most successful year ever for English women's football the national team manager, Hope Powell, looks as much exhausted as elated. The 42-year-old, whose role encompasses overseeing the entire structure of the sport – from grassroots to the elite level – steered the England senior team to their first European Championship final in 25 years last summer and Mo Marley's England Under‑19 side won the European trophy.

On the domestic front, life has been no less quiet, with planning ongoing for the new women's summer league, in operation from 2011, and applications from clubs wanting to sign up pouring in already. But, Powell says, that league may already be a year too late, with five of England's best already playing in the US professional league and Katie Chapman, England's outstanding player at the European Championship, signed up for next season.

Powell sighs. In women's football there are more problems than solutions. Overlooking the Wembley pitch as she speaks, the stadium itself is a reminder of the obstacles the game faces – women's football is still waiting for an invitation to play at the national stadium.

More intriguing invitations may yet be afoot, however. Following England's success in reaching the European final, Powell was rumoured to be in the running for the manager's job at Grimsby Town. She denies she was even approached, but the headlines promoted widespread speculation about whether a woman could coach in the men's game. Interestingly, Powell says she is open to the idea. "If an opportunity presented itself that I fancied I'm going to look at it. It doesn't mean I'm going to take it."

Powell, who has coached boys' teams in this country and in the US, also rejects the idea that there is much difference. "It's just football for me."

She was fascinated by the attention she received at the time. "It was very bizarre," she says. "I kind of took it as a compliment really. I said it wasn't true but I still had the press following me up to Blackpool [for the World Cup qualifying win against Malta] and press outside my door." As a figure known for being intensely private, would that kind of attention put her off? "No. See the package. Do six months. Retire on £6.2m," she says with a grin.

"I think for the first female that does this, and one day I'm sure it will happen whoever it might be, the press will be phenomenal. It would probably hinder that person doing that job. And if they failed it would be, 'Well, there you go, that's why a woman shouldn't be in men's football', and if they did OK it would be a really difficult position for that person to be in. Really tough."

For now, though, Powell's thoughts are still occupied by the European Championship final defeat in Helsinki. "I was bitterly disappointed," she says of the 6-2 defeat to Germany.

"I don't think I'll ever get over it to be honest, unless we win it [another time]. You wish you could play the game again because you would know how to cope. I think we all felt that. The most important thing is that we will learn from it. The players have really taken on board the margins between silver and gold, they are so small."

Against the weight of Germany's experience of two World Cup wins and seven European titles, England were always at a disadvantage, but Powell still believes her team could have won it. "I don't think it was one game too many for us. When I watched it back it was a close game, even though they scored six," she adds with a wry smile.

Powell says she is hungry for more, but she is honest enough to admit that after 11 years she is ready for a change. Most expect that the role of performance director will be created for her, perhaps even before the next World Cup in 2011, with Marley, who is only the second woman in England to hold the Uefa Pro licence, to take over the senior team.

"I would hope to be doing it [before the next World Cup]," says Powell. "It depends on the timing. I'm particularly conscious that the clubs and centres need some attention and I find I'm dipping in and out. I want to share my expertise a bit more to help the game and move it along."

The FIFA Women’s World Cup Finals will be expanded from 16 to 24 teams from 2015 onwards.

Although the 2011 tournament in Germany will stay at 16 finalists, FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke said that women’s football had advanced so much, it made sense to make the increase.

Valcke said after Thursday’s executive committee meeting on Robben Island in South Africa, “the value of women’s football around the world had become higher and higher.”

source: FG

The FA WSL / Birmingham v Milwall and the Clubs Super League Bid
« on: November 28, 2009, 11:43:08 PM »
Birmingham v Milwall and the Clubs Super League Bid

Michael Maybury 28 Nov 2009

Birmingham City are working with our club to put together our Super League bid which has to be into the FA by December 18th 2009. As part of their help they are sending a photographer to the Birmingham v Milwall home game on Sunday 6th December. We would like as much support as possible at this game which is at Stratford Town FC Tiddington ko 2:00pm. In order to help supporters to get to the game the club are willing to provide a free coach to the game. This coach will leave Moor Lane at 12:30pm and return straight after the game back to Moor Lane

Admission is free for U16 youngsters and we would like all CofE players attending to wear their Blue tracksuits.

If you would like to attend then please see Laura Bassett this week at training and tell her how many seats you will need on the coach.

Those travelling direct to the ground can find details on the First Team page by clicking on the Birmingham v Milwall game.

Women's Football / Izzy Christiansen
« on: November 08, 2009, 09:58:37 PM »
Appears Izzy Christiansen has moved from Everton to B'ham and scored a brace today to get B'ham a point away to Watford.

She is already on B'ham players list on the website:

Women's Football / Powell scoops Sunday Times award
« on: November 03, 2009, 08:42:48 PM »
Powell scoops Sunday Times award

Tuesday, 03 November, 2009

The England Women's Head Coach is named Sports Leader of the Year for 2009
England Women's Head Coach, Hope Powell, has been named the Sunday Times Sports Leader of the Year for 2009.

Powell masterminded her side's route to the Final of the European Championship in the summer, their third consecutive appearance at a major tournament under her stewardship. In addition to this Final appearance, England won the Cyprus Cup in March, seeing off the challenge of France, South Africa, Scotland and Canada in the process.

Clare Connor, Head of Women’s Cricket at the ECB, and Rebecca Gibson, National Women's Boxing Development Manager at the Amateur Boxing Association, were also in the running.

“It's an honour to win this award,” said Powell, “especially given the other sports leaders in my category.

“I'm both delighted and surprised. It's an award not just for me but for Women's football, the staff, the players and everyone behind the scenes who contributes to the sport."

In 2009 the England Women's team won ten of their 16 matches, losing just three times. Their next fixture sees them travel to Turkey on 26 November for their second World Cup Qualifier, after defeating Malta 8-0 in October.

England Cup Competitions / THE FA WOMEN'S CUP 2009/10
« on: October 26, 2009, 10:47:29 PM »
(sponsored by E.On)

Ties to be played on November 8th 2009, 1pm kick-off.

Liverpool Feds v Peterlee Town
Salford v Darlington RA
Stockport County v Bradford City
Whitley Bay v Blackpool Wren Rovers
Harraby Catholic Club or Hull City v Rochdale
Tranmere Rovers v Rotherham United
Sheffield United Community v Middlesbrough
South Durham GSK Royals v Wakefield
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Sporting Club Albion
Stoke City v Loughborough Students
Long Eaton United v Coventry City
Leafield Athletic v Leamington Lions
Copsewood (Coventry) v Scunthorpe United
Leicester City LFC v Loughborough Foxes
Dudley United v TNS
Haringey Borough v Barking
Enfield Town v Maidstone Town
Tottenham Hotspur v Northampton Town
Littlehampton Town v Ebbsfleet United
Cambridge WFC v Sawbridgeworth Town
MK Dons v Old Actonians
Gillingham v Oxford City
Lewes v Ipswich Town
Dagenham & Redbridge A/W Norwich City
Welwyn Garden City A/W Woodbridge Town
Bedford v Chesham United
Shanklin v Havant & Waterlooville
Plymouth Argyle v Swindon Supermarine
Saltash United v Yeovil Town
Cullompton Rangers v Forest Green Rovers
Swindon Town v Winscombe
Reading Town v Newquay

source: fairagme

England International Football / England Women take a bow
« on: October 14, 2009, 04:31:29 PM »
Women take a bow

England's women's team, fresh from the success of their European Championship campaign, will be introduced to fans of Fabio Capello's team during half-time of the World Cup qualifier against Belarus tonight. Hope Powell's team reached the final at the tournament in Finland this summer before going down to the world champions, Germany. Also being presented to the Wembley crowd are the women's Under-19s, who became European champions this summer when they beat Sweden 2-0 in the final to confirm their unbeaten run without conceding a goal.

Williams says Dutch will be tough

England midfielder Fara Williams says the Netherlands will be tough opponents when the sides meet in the semi-finals of Euro 2009 on Sunday.

Williams, 25, will skipper the side in the absence of injured captain Faye White for the game in Tampere.

She told BBC Radio Merseyside: "We know Holland are going to be a tough test. If anybody did watch them in their quarter-final against France they will see that they are a good team. Nobody beats France through luck."

Williams added: "They're going to be tough competition for us. I'm sure Hope [Powell] will have us fully prepared and focused for the game come Sunday."

The Everton captain believes her side's 3-2 victory against Finland on Thursday was the best team performance of the tournament so far.

Williams got herself on the scoresheet in the game and she hopes the team can continue to grow in stature with every match.

"We're getting better as the games go on," Williams continued. "Hopefully we'll get better come the game on Sunday and hopefully it will be good enough to get us through.

"We can only build on what we began with, which was a bad team performance against Italy. We've built on that since then."

England will have to cope without influential skipper White after the 31-year-old fractured and dislocated her cheekbone in the quarter-final win over the hosts.

"We didn't know what happened to Faye," said Williams. "It drove us on a bit - to want to do well, not only ourselves, but for her.

"She's our captain and she's led the team well throughout the tournament. For now, whilst Faye gets her injury sorted, we want to do well for her and hopefully we can do it on Sunday."

I was a little shocked to hear a clip of this interview played on Newsbeat's Radio 1 this evening, when they mentioned Sunday's match.

Women's Football / Shake-up in ladies' game
« on: August 24, 2009, 11:14:17 PM »
Women's footballers from Birmingham have spoken about how their sport has struggled to get exposure compared to the men's game.

Found this on the BBC website, it was shot last December at Redditch, but i've never seen it posted here. The game been shown was Birmingham's county cup game against Redditch couple of days before Xmas and it was freezing, so think the 100 was more like 20 if I remember rightly.  :)

England International Football / England in shape for winning run
« on: August 14, 2009, 11:45:21 AM »
England in shape for winning run

Friday 14 August 2009
by Paul Woloszyn & Paul Saffer from London

England fell at the group stage as UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2005™ hosts but four years on midfielder Fara Williams and left-back Casey Stoney are aiming for better in Finland.

Quarter-final run
Four years ago England made a great start, beating Finland 3-2, but lost narrowly to Denmark and Sweden to finish bottom of their pool. Having reached the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup quarter-finals, Hope Powell's side would be disappointed not to match that run in Finland, and Everton LFC captain Williams believes they are ready to do so.

"Playing in 2005 in England in the EURO was massive for us, at the time everybody thought we could do well and I think that we were living a bit in a dream world at the time," Williams told "The experience from the EURO in 2005 and the World Cup in 2007 is massive for us this year and I think that we have a chance this year in Finland."

"We are really glad it is nearly upon us" -Casey Stoney

Since qualifying last October, England have had a series of training camps, winning the Cyprus Women's Cup in March and beating both Norway and Denmark in home friendlies. But Stoney is relieved the kick-off against Italy on 25 August, with Group C fixtures to come against Russia and Sweden, is almost here. "We are really glad it is nearly upon us," the Chelsea LFC defender, who also managed the club last season, said, "Preparation has been long and hard. We had a little break, we only had two weeks off from the end of the season."

Williams has already returned to competitive action, helping Everton through from the UEFA Women's Champions League qualifying round earlier this month. But for her there is nothing like a final tournament. "It's massive," the 25-year-old said. "You learn playing against other better players. You learn by feeling you are doing the game good and learn by feeling you're doing badly. If don't you analyse yourself and you don't analyse the team, you never will improve. Hope insisted that we have to analyse perfomances to get better and I think before 2005 we didn't use to do that much. But since then I think every single game we played, we have analysed it as a team, Hope has analysed it, we've analysed it as individuals and that helped our understanding."

Central contracts

Something else that has helped much of the England squad is being placed on central contracts, which guarantee players enough of an income for them not have to do another job full-time. Stoney, 27, was among those awarded the deals in May and is already benefitting. "Being on a central contract makes a huge difference to my life," she said. "I've gone part time at work now. I can train in normal hours and not at five in the morning or nine at night after work when you are tired. The quality of my training has increased. I feel that my fitness level has increased, it means that my quality of life is better, my training standards are higher, and hopefully I can be in the best condition I can be."

The FA WSL / Birmingham bid for more success
« on: August 04, 2009, 01:07:03 PM »

Birmingham bid for more success

By Dhiren Varand
Blast reporter, BBC WM

Birmingham City Ladies football team say they are hoping to build on last season's fifth-place finish in the Premier League, after being "very impressed" with progress last season.

They kicked off their pre-season with an impressive 2-0 victory over West Ham at their new home ground, Knights Lane, on Sunday.

Despite losing some key personnel before the start of last season, the team produced some fine displays in the Premier League.

Their only real disappointment was losing on penalties to Bristol Academy in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

One thing, however, that the club are striving for is extra support from the city and increasing the awareness of women's football in England.

Media spokesman Mark Farnell said: "One problem that women's football faces is the lack of support, mainly from men and the media.

"How many people were aware that England's under-19 team won the European Championships in Belarus, beating Sweden 2-0 in the final?"

The club's Kerys Harrop played a vital role in the tournament and the victory marked the first time that an England women's team have lifted a major trophy.

Mo Marley's side are the first England team of any kind to win a major tournament since the male under-18s - including the likes of Sol Campbell, Robbie Fowler, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville - who won the Uefa title back in 1993.
To qualify for the Super League you need a better stadium and an increase in capacity, so some clubs are raising the goal-posts and upgrading facilities

Birmingham spokesman Mark Farnell

England also had the distinction of not conceding a goal throughout the entire tournament.

A positive step for the women's game is the FA's attempt to create a super league to emulate the growth of football in the USA.

The new summer Super League is aimed to avoid competition with the men's game.

It has, however, been postponed by the FA to 2011 and Farnell stated "this could be a positive factor to the development of both ladies football in general and specifically Birmingham Ladies".

Farnell mentioned that it was the Super League that made them move their home matches from The Valley Stadium in Redditch to Knights Lane, the home of Stratford Town.

He said: "To qualify for the Super League you need a better stadium and an increase in capacity, so some clubs are raising the goal-posts and upgrading facilities."

Birmingham have already signed new players ahead of the new season, which kicks off at home to Watford on 16 August and Farnell is confident of another successful season targeting some silverware.

Women's Football / Q&A with England Trainer Hope Powell
« on: July 20, 2009, 10:19:06 PM »
Hope Powell, trainer for the England National Team, answers questions on the WPS and the 2009 Euros.
Several top players in WPS including Kelly Smith (Boston Breakers), Alex Scott (Boston Breakers), Karen Carney (Chicago Red Stars) and Anita Asante (Sky Blue FC) are in Europe this week with their English National Team. caught up with England trainer Hope Powell as the team prepares for the 2009 Euros with friendlies against Iceland (4-0 England victory) on Sunday and Denmark on Wednesday.

Q: Have you been able to follow much of the WPS season so far?

A: Yes, I get regular updates from our English players as well as receiving copies of games that are televised and of course from the web.

Q: You have watched a few WPS games in person. What in particular do you look for when you come to club games like WPS?

A: I’m was here looking at the English players, in particular, as well as the standard of play and how it compares to our domestic league in England.

Q: What’s your initial reaction to the quality and level of play in WPS?

A: The pace of the game and the physical contest between players was very noticeable.

Q: What does it mean to have a top level women’s league in the U.S. once again?

A: It’s a great opportunity for players to become full-time athletes and get paid for a job they love to do.

Q: You know both the playing and coaching side so well, how tough is it to bring 22 players from different backgrounds together and make them into a cohesive unit in a short time?

A: Not an easy task, I’m sure. To make a team cohesive takes time so with players from different nationalities, playing styles and language barriers is a testing task, so different mediums for learning and understanding I’m sure are being used by coaches in the WPS to achieve this. Ultimately though it’s about time, as well as patience.

Q: Obviously, Los Angeles has been able to do that. Any other teams that have caught your eye?

A: I have only seen 3 teams play so can’t really give much insight.

Q: Which individual players have stood out so far in WPS, in your opinion?

A: It’s been well documented that Marta has produced some outstanding performances. For me it’s nice to know our English players have also made some headlines.

Q: Do you think there is a place for Intercontinental club tournaments in the future between various women’s leagues?

A: I’m sure it’s something that can be explored.

Q: Turning our attention to the English national team – you had a fantastic tournament in Cyprus this year. What was the key?

A: It’s all in the preparation!

Q: How important was that for your Euro 2009 preparations and what are your plans for the next few months?

A: Winning breeds confidence and to win a tournament against some good opposition will bode well for us we hope in the Euros. We are in Camp and have 2 games against Iceland and Denmark which will be another good test before the finals. [Editor’s note: England lost, 2-0, to Iceland on July 16 and faces Denmark on July 22.

Q: So I guess we won’t see you at the WPS Championship on August 22?

A: I don’t think so!!

The FA WSL / Birmingham City Ladies F.C. Meeting 2009/10 season
« on: June 30, 2009, 01:07:45 PM »
Birmingham City Ladies F.C. Meeting

On Wednesday the 1st July at 7:00pm Birmingham City Ladies F.C. will be holding a meeting at The Pavilions Moor Lane Birmingham B6 7AA for all players, supporters and anybody who interested in Birmingham City Ladies F.C. The meeting will be to outline plans for the season and the clubs future. All those with an interest in the club are welcome to attend.


England International Football / Women to sign off in Swindon
« on: June 05, 2009, 03:47:36 PM »
No huge surprise, but confirmation by the FA that England will play Denmark at Swindon.

The County Ground will host England's last friendly before the Euros.

England v Denmark
International Match
7.45pm, Wednesday 22 July 2009
The County Ground, Swindon Town FC

England Women sign off for this summer’s European Championship with a friendly against Denmark at the County Ground on 22 July.

The game is part of a double header for England with Hope Powell’s squad taking on Iceland at Colchester United on 16 July.

England face Sweden, Russia and Italy at the UEFA tournament in Finland this August and Powell is looking to conclude their domestic preparations on a high at the County Ground: "Denmark are a good side and have qualified for the European Championship as well so I’m anticipating a close game against quality opposition.

"We beat Norway 3-0 back in April so we’ll be looking to build on that performance for these two friendlies and then take that confidence into the tournament."

It’s already been a decent 2009 for England with the team beating Canada 3-1 to lift the Cyprus Cup in Lanarca at the beginning of March.

"Winning tournaments breeds a winning mentality so it was a great experience for the squad and showed that we can perform in competition conditions and away from home," continued Powell, whose side drew with France and beat both Scotland and South Africa in the Cyprus Cup group stage.

England’s European Championship preparations also included an invite to the Senior team’s training base at London Colney earlier this week where the likes of Fara Williams, Casey Stoney and Sue Smith met Fabio Capello.

England skipper Williams said: "It was a nice gesture of the team to invite us down and wish us good luck for the Euros.

"It shows they are interested in the women’s game and how we are doing."

And the good luck messages haven’t stopped there with Hope Powell’s team also receiving a vote of confidence from their Nationwide Building Society sponsors who are based in Swindon.

Nationwide’s Chris Hull commented: ""We are absolutely delighted that Swindon - the home of Nationwide Building Society's Headquarters - is helping to form an essential part of the England women's team build-up ahead of Euro 2009.

"We have been a sponsor of Hope's England team for the past ten years and we are continually proud to be associated with their professionalism and excellence.

"We at Nationwide believe, along with the fans and the team, that England can secure success in Finland this summer and we wish them the very best of luck."

Tickets for the game at Swindon are just £5 adults and £2.50 for children, via 0871 223 2300.

Charter Standard clubs can order up to 15 free tickets while there's discounted tickets for parties of 15 people plus. Just download the forms at top of the page for details.

England International Football / England meet England
« on: June 04, 2009, 10:38:08 AM »
England players Fara Williams, Casey Stoney, Sue Smith, Siobhan Chamberlain and Corinne Yorston were invited to England’s training camp this week to meet with England Manager Fabio Capello and their male counterparts.

The women arrived at England’s training ground at London Colney and were greeted by Fabio Capello, who spoke with the girls individually and wished them luck for their upcoming European Championship in Finland later this summer.

Players including David Beckham, Gary Neville, Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, Rio Ferdinand and Ashley Cole - who are in preparation for their World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan - also spoke with the girls and asked them to pass on the good luck message to the entire squad.

England captain John Terry also spoke in-depth to his Chelsea colleague Casey Stoney, currently manager of the Blues' ladies team.

Casey said: “It was great to meet the squad and speak with John in particular, they were all very friendly and we stayed around for training to watch the guys go through their paces, which was a great experience for us.

"They all give 100 per cent, even in training and we were in awe slightly of how quickly they moved the ball around and their one touch play. Speaking with John on Chelsea and England was also a highlight of the day.”

England Captain Fara Williams was also impressed with the squad.

“It was a nice gesture of the team to invite us down and wish us good luck for the Euros, it shows they are interested in the women’s game and how we are doing.

"Steven Gerrard also congratulated me on winning the England Player of the Year and that was a nice touch, as was meeting the England Manager. Mr. Capello was very friendly and took the time to speak with us and ensure we were as close as possible to watch the squad train.

"It’s been a good day and a fantastic experience, especially watching the boys in action.”

England Women play their first match at the 2009 European Championship against Italy on 25 August at the Lahti Stadium, Finland.

Video of the team and interview with John Terry and Casey Stoney available at:

England Central Contracts Confirmed


The FA today announced that central contracts have now been awarded to 17 England women international players.

The introduction of FA central contracts for England women’s players is a key part of the 16 milestones outlined in Women’s and Girls Football Strategy over the next four years, which was launched in autumn 2008.

The FA has committed to £320,000 per year to the central contract pot, which was approved by The FA Board last October and will run for the next four years.

England international players on FA central contracts will be paid from this central pot on a contract that will be renewed on an annual basis. Over 25 international players applied for a central contract, and were asked by The FA to meet specific criteria in order to be successful.

These included requirements such as:

Adhering to part time working hours of no more than 24 hours per week
Availability at all times during the year for training camps, matches and tournaments, along with a commitment to a set number of personal appearances to promote The FA’s wider work
Professional conduct both on and off the field
Ongoing discussions by The FA Board over the past 18 months have formed the proposals for central contracts, and The FA believe that these contracts will allow England international players time to dedicate themselves to full time training programmes without the pressures of full time employment.

The FA Chairman, Lord Triesman, said of the announcement, "This is a vital step. It ensures that our Head Coach will have outstanding players available to her in the future, footballers who are great role models in women’s football. It is right for our sport."

Central contracts will also give the FA, and England Women’s Head Coach Hope Powell, greater control over players availability for matches, tournaments and training camps, something which is seen as a fundamental part in achieving the key milestone of England Women’s Senior team competing at highest level.

Hope Powell said, "We are delighted to be able to finally announce that 17 players have so far accepted central contracts. We have worked very hard with the FA board and the PFA on these contracts over a long period of time to ensure they are right for the players. This is a great opportunity for those players who have been successful, these contracts will help them to focus on training and playing, and just as importantly, on getting the adequate rest time in-between, without having the pressures of working a 35 hour week. We hope this will allow our girls time to concentrate on helping England qualify for major tournaments on a consistent basis and competing at the very top level against the best teams in the world."

The news of central contracts comes off the back of The FA’s decision to reluctantly defer the launch of the Women’s Summer Super League until 2011 as part of an ongoing review in the current global financial downturn.

"We are delighted that the contracts were not affected by the current climate", Powell added, "They are in place for the next 4 years and hopefully, for many years to come."

The 17 players that have currently been awarded FA central contracts are: Rachel Brown (Everton), Siobhan Chamberlain (Chelsea), Carly Telford (Leeds Carnegie), Casey Stoney (Chelsea), Faye White (Arsenal), Rachel Unitt (Everton), Stephanie Houghton (Leeds Carnegie), Emily Westwood (Everton), Katie Chapman (Arsenal), Jill Scott (Everton), Laura Bassett (Arsenal), Rachel Williams (Doncaster Rovers Belles), Rachel Yankey (Arsenal), Sue Smith (Leeds Carnegie), Jody Handley (Everton), Lindsay Johnson (Everton), Corrine Yorston (Bristol Academy).

Source -

Off Topic / Sports Personality of the Year is moving to Sheffield
« on: May 02, 2009, 12:21:31 PM »
Why SPOTY is moving to Sheffield

BBC Sport, Sports Personality of the Year

Carl Doran | 06:22 UK time, Thursday, 30 April 2009

It's really fitting we're announcing at the World Snooker Championships on Thursday that BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2009 is moving to Sheffield.

Sports Personality moved from the BBC's Television Centre in London three years ago and it was always our intention to create a sporting road show which would move around the UK.

After two hugely successful years at the NEC in Birmingham, the event reached new heights in Liverpool last year with a record crowd of more than 9,000.

I don't think I'll ever forget the incredible reception our Olympic and Paralympic heroes got in the Arena or the unique Liverpool welcome Manchester United legend Sir Bobby Charlton received when collecting his Lifetime Achievement award. .

We made many friends in Liverpool and we're really very grateful for everything that the city did to make last year's event so successful. I'm also sure that we'll return there again in the future.

A number of the UK's top cities were very interested in staging the event but Sheffield was the worthy choice for 2009. It will be the first time it has been held in Yorkshire.

Snooker is just one of the many events that take place in a city that has a wonderful sporting heritage.

There's an enviable choice of world-class facilities including the prestigious English Institute of Sport Sheffield, Don Valley Stadium, an Olympic size swimming pool and Europe's largest ice complex to name just a few. Sheffield is also home to two great football teams in Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United.

The Sheffield Steelers Ice Hockey team have just completed the double after a magnificent season.

And Sports Personality will take place at the Sheffield Arena where the Steelers play their home matches and the event will be watched by the biggest crowd ever of more than 10,000. Full ticket details will be announced later in the year.

I would also like to say we did look seriously at taking the event outside England but for a number a number of logistical and availability issues it wasn't possible, but we do hope to do so some time in the future.

And so on to the event itself. After the drama of last year most people expected this one to be a much quieter sporting year. How wrong they were.

We've already had an incredible Six Nations Championship with Ireland winning their first Grand Slam for 61 years; Jenson Button's made a flying start to the Formula 1 season; England's cricket team have won the women's World Cup, Andy Murray continues his march towards the top of the world tennis rankings and we're set for incredible end to the football season.

With plenty of big events still to come, there will certainly be plenty more to celebrate and look back on in Sheffield on 13 December.

Millwall Lionesses set for Premier League return

• Millwall 2–0 Truro City; Arsenal 0–0 Doncaster
• Everton 6–0 Fulham; Chelsea 3–1 Nott'm Forest

Tony Leighton - The Guardian, Monday 13 April 2009

After eight years out of the limelight, Millwall Lionesses, pioneers of the women's game, are on their way back. A 2-0 Southern Division win against Truro City yesterday left the Lionesses requiring one point from five matches to clinch promotion to the Premier League, of which they were founder members in 1991 but from which they were relegated a decade later.

A return to the top flight will put the Lionesses "back where we belong," said their chair, Lou Waller, a former England international who served the club as player, coach, development officer and secretary before taking up her current role.

"We are almost there," said Waller, "and if we do it I think a lot of people will be pleased for us. The club has been a leader since it was formed in 1971 and we've given a lot to the women's game."

Waller played in the Millwall team that in 1997 won the FA Cup and League Cup double, but just as notable was their 1993 creation of the country's first girls' Centre of Excellence, which Waller instigated and whose structure became the model for the FA's now countrywide network of centres.

From their early days have been renowned for a youth set-up that has produced internationals such as Hope Powell, Mary Phillip, Katie Chapman and – now back after six years with Arsenal – Leanne Champ.

The defender Champ has been a key figure this season while her old club has been battling to retain their League title. The Gunners, held to a goalless draw by Doncaster yesterday, are being strongly challenged by Everton, who beat Fulham 6-0. Third-placed Chelsea won 3-1 against Nottingham Forest.

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