With the FA WSL schedule changing from the summer season to the winter league, the FA have created the spring series to bridge the gap between the two seasons.
What is really happening is the FA needs the England players to be in top form come July for the Euros to be played in Netherlands as they will be one of the favourites to win the tournament.
Therefore, they must have devised a periodisation plan for the players for the first six months of 2017. They have fitted the spring series games around those needs. Make no mistakes, it is a tool to help the England team and designed to do so. It was not conceived with the clubs in mind. The proof is there, the schedule was to be disclosed before Christmas and was postponed as clubs were not happy with it.
What I mean is the FA WSL 1 and FA WSL 2 sides have nine games to play between now and June. But the FA WSL 2 spring series games are played between the 11th of February and 21st of May while the FA WSL 1 teams start on 22 April until 3 June.
Obviously the FA Women’s Cup ties explain the early start for the FA WSL 2 team as they will enter the competition on 5 February, but the FA WSL 1 teams enter the Cup on 19 March and the spring series starts a month later?
Here are the spring series dates for the Arsenal Ladies and also the FA Women’s Cup ties. There are six weekend games and three mid-week games:
- Sun 19 March FA Women’s Cup R5
- Sun 26 Mar FA Women’s Cup QF
- Mon 17 Apr FA Women’s Cup SF
- Sat 22 or Sun 23 Apr Spring Series Matchday 1 H Notts County
- Sun 30 Apr Spring Series Matchday 2 A Sunderland
- Wed 03May or Thu 04 May Spring Series Matchday 3 H Liverpool
- Sat 06 or Sun 07 May Spring Series Matchday 4 H Yeovil
- Sat 13 May FA women’s Cup final
- Wed 17 May Spring Series Matchday 5 A Chelsea
- Sat 20 May or Sun 21 May Spring Series Matchday 6 H Birmingham
- Sun 28 May Spring Series Matchday 7 A Man City
- Wed 30 May or Thu 01 Jun Spring Series Matchday 8 H Reading
- Sat 03 Jun Apr Spring Series Matchday 9 A Bristol
Arsenal’s home fixtures details are venue-dependent and will be agreed shortly. The venue of Arsenal’s home matches will be confirmed on the Arsenal website as soon as possible.
You can see the full schedule on the FA WSL website here.