FA’s ‘Empowering for Success’ Strategy makes great progress

  • +1

The Premier League funded strategy to strengthen the third and fourth tiers of women’s football in England has met various targets at the one-year stage of its implementation

14th December 2023: One year on from the launch of its new ‘Empowering for Success’ strategy, the FA Women’s National League has seen huge success with some targets already being met since the three-year plan came into action.

With the support of the Premier League some of the strategy’s 2025 aspirations have already been exceeded, such as the engagement of female coaches in learning opportunities which has already reached 43%, surpassing the original target by 3% in the first year of implementation alone.

Furthermore, one of the league’s key strategic aims is to increase recognition of the FA WNL amongst female football fans from 21% to 25%, with that recognition already rising to 24% in year one. Player satisfaction is also a key priority for the league, with 53% of participants rating their playing experience at four out of five or above – surpassing the initial 2025 target by 3% already.

Sandi Dosanjh, FA Women’s National League Independent Director, said: “Having launched ‘Empowering for Success’ at the start of 2022/23 season, it is important that we pause, reflect and refocus our work as we move into year two of the FA Women’s National League Strategy.

“Central to everything we do is helping the clubs to become the best they can be in order to improve the product on the field of play. It’s great to see such strong year-one results with several targets already being exceeded, but there is still much more to do to elevate the women’s game across all levels of the football pyramid.”

The aim of the strategy is to help ensure advancements in quality across Tiers 3 and 4 of the women’s football pyramid by 2025. The league set out eight priority areas to focus on which have all seen improvements:

1. Players: The league launched a footage-sharing platform to support with tactical analysis and development for players on the pitch.
2. Coaches and leaders: 12 coaches completed a full funded female game course and the league delivered three national development events.
3. Referees: All clubs received a bursary to support with referee costs and the league refined the pool of referees with a new tiered approach.
4. Club Development: 33% of clubs received bespoke support through the club consultant programme and the FA WNL launched minimum standards across the league focussing on all areas from finance to performance.
5. League Development: There has been an increase in promotion places to the Barclays Women’s Championship from one to two and over 3,000 fans attended the Play-Off Final.
6. Facilities: 45 grass pitches have been assessed across the league with 1:1 facilities guidance made available to all clubs.
7. Commercial: Workshops have been delivered across the season with guides created and the FA WNL has received support from the Premier League at cup finals, across social media and through campaigns.
8. Marketing and Communications: The FA WNL launched a YouTube channel and increased content across social media alongside increased media coverage, whilst eight players stories were told through the Behind the Ball campaign.

The league is committed to building and improving these eight areas over the next two years, in turn creating a solid foundation for all involved in the women’s football pyramid from players and coaches, to fans, staff members and volunteers.

With thanks to the FA