Football, women's football, women's sport

Celebrations as the Women's Super League turns 10

The Women's Super League is celebrating its 10th anniversary with the launch of a new Hall of Fame to recognise the "significant contributions" of players, coaches and officials over the last decade.

Arsenal beat Chelsea 1-0 in the league's first fixture on 13 April 2011 and whilst the development of women's game has grown at pace, the WSL is well-placed to reach new heights in the years to come.

Clubs were already attracting record crowds before Covid-19 caused the cancellation of last season and the league announced a landmark television deal with the BBC and Sky Sports in March.

"It should be a source of pride of where we have got to and for everybody who has made it happen," the FA's director of professional women's football Kelly Simmons told BBC Sport.

"Since the Women's World Cup particularly, the development of the WSL has absolutely turbo-charged. We can't wait to have fans back next season to continue to build on the great work done by the clubs to really embrace and engage fans to get them through.

"Without doubt, we have seen the quality of the product grow hugely and it has been able to attract some of the best players in the world alongside our best English talent. It has made it fantastic to watch and fantastic for those fans."

The new Hall of Fame is an opportunity for the league to reflect on its achievements as it continues to grow.

"We will be appointing an expert panel which I will chair. We will get the experts around the table and will make an announcement on the first inductees before the next season kicks off," Simmons continued.

"We thought it was a great moment with it being the 10-year birthday to look back, recognise and thank the tremendous work of some of the people who have made this journey happen."

However, the FA has also recognised the need to continue improvement in certain aspects of the league, particularly coaching and refereeing.

"I'm aware that alongside a big important part of the quality of the product is obviously quality of the officiating.

"We know that with a new investment coming in that we've got to make sure that we invest in that area as well which I think probably hasn't received the levels of investment over the years as maybe some of the other areas like coaching and the league performance service, so we're going to invest in that area too."

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