by Sylvain Jamet
As the first teams eliminated from the FIFA Women’s World Cup are now going home, player’s rest is a subject that needs to be discussed as many players will not get enough of it, if any, before the FA WSL season restarts on the 12th of July.
Arsenal fans will be aware that Arsene Wenger gave an extended break to the German players who won the World Cup last year in Brazil, he was quoted:
“A post-World Cup year is always very difficult and short, the World Cup Final was July 13 and the start of the Premier League is August 16.
“From FIFA we are obliged to give four weeks’ holiday to the players, so I don’t know how all that works together. It looks impossible to me. A post-World Cup year is always very difficult for every big club because the players have been away.”
Obviously FIFA does not have that kind of regulation for women’s football as the World Cup final will be played on 5th July 2015 and the FA WSL restarts on 12th July, a week later.
Considering the final will be played in Vancouver, where there is an eight hour time difference with the UK and that the players would be likely to fly from there on the Monday, they would therefore land on Tuesday 7th in UK and then join their respective club for training straightaway.
FA WSL teams are already back in pre-season training and obviously the players would be fit but you would guess that jet lag would be a problem for at least a week while mental tiredness could also be an issue.
I do not think it would be good for any player to come straight from a World Cup and jump into the League season without a proper rest. If we look at Chelsea Ladies schedule from the restart, they will have five games to be played between 12th and 31st July.
Then they will play five games between 1st and 31st August, including the first ever Women’s Cup final to be played at Wembley Stadium. With a couple of games in September as the Euro 2017 qualifications start, their league season will finish early October before the UEFA WCL Round of 32 starts three days later. I have not even mentioned a potential FA WSL Conti Cup semi-final and final to be played as well.
If you factor in the fact that the Women’s World Cup is played on an artificial surface and many players from the u20 World Cup in Canada (that was also played on turf/3G/4G) the previous summer ended up injured the following season, there is a serious concern for the FA WSL players’ health when they come back from the tournament.
So let’s have a look at the elimination date for the teams and how many days rest they will officially have before the FA WSL restart:
Nigeria: Asisat Oshoala Liverpool Ladies eliminated 16/06 26 days’ rest
Spain: Vicky Losada and Natalia Sanchon Arsenal Ladies eliminated 17/06 25 days’ rest
Sweden: Hedvig Lindhal Chelsea Ladies eliminated 20/06 22 days’ rest
England : Karen Bardsley, Stephanie Houghton, Lucy Bronze, Jill Scott, Toni Duggan (Man City Women), Siobhan Chamberlain, Alex Scott, Casey Stoney, Jordan Nobbs, Lianne Sanderson (Arsenal Ladies) , Carly Telford, Laura Bassett, Alex Greenwood, Ellen White (Notts County Ladies), Claire Rafferty, Katie Chapman, Eniola Aluko ( Chelsea Ladies), Fara Williams (Liverpool Ladies) ,Karen Carney, Jade Moore, Josanne Potter (Birmingham City Ladies), Francesca Kirby (Reading Women)
Canada: Desiree Scott (Notts County Ladies)
Korea Republic: Ji So-Yun (Chelsea Ladies)
Depending on how far the remaining teams go in the competition, it is quite obvious that some players will definitely need a long rest before coming back into the FA WSL. But will the teams be able to afford leaving those players out considering the League is so short with only 14 games played?
You do wonder if some of the coaches who are competing for the Champion’s League places in the FA WSL would welcome an early England exit.
You can clearly see why.