The FA Women’s Super League turns ten today. The first ever game involved England’s dominant women’s team, Arsenal, who travelled to Chelsea at Tooting and Mitcham’s ground on April 13th, 2011. The Gunners ran away with the points on that day thanks to a goal from centre-half Gilly Flaherty, who currently captains West Ham.
To celebrate the anniversary, The FA is launching its first FA Women’s Super League Hall of Fame, which will be sponsored by Barclays, that will look to recognise those individuals who have made a significant impact on the league. An induction event will take place later in the year and an expert panel will create a shortlist of nominees before determining who will be the first inductees.
Kelly Simmons, FA Director of the Women’s Professional Game, said: “I could never have envisaged the league having been on such a journey of growth and development when we launched it ten years ago. The support we have received from clubs, stakeholders, the media and fans has been overwhelming.
“The launch of the Barclays FA WSL Hall of Fame is designed to recognise those who have made a major contribution to the league over the last ten years.” Given that Arsenal have won the WSL title three times and the WSL Continental Tyres Cup five times over that decade, Arsenal can expect to have several inductees, including the likes of Kelly Smith, Kim Little, Jordan Nobbs, Laura Harvey and Vivianne Miedema.
As well as winning the opening game and scoring the first goal in the competition, the Gunners helped to create the record attendance when 38,000 fans packed into the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to watch Arsenal beat Sp*rs 2-0 in November 2019. On a media call on Monday, Simmons pointed to that North London derby as a touchstone moment in the development of the league.
“The one for me was Tottenham v Arsenal with the record crowd. The crowd was phenomenal but the atmosphere was incredible, you could hear the Arsenal end you could hear the Spurs end. It really created a special atmosphere, spine-tingling really and I was sat in that game and I thought that’s what, over the next 10 years, women’s football can become regularly, we can’t let this be a one off.”
Arsenal WSL stats special
Arsenal have won more WSL games and wins than any other team in that ten-year period, with 165 games and 112 wins, the Gunners are also comfortably the league’s top scorers with 404 goals. Arsenal also average 2.2 points per game away from home, the best in the WSL since its inception.
Arsenal hold the record WSL victory when they beat Bristol City 11-1 at Meadow Park in November 2019, Vivianne Miedema also broke a record for goals in a single WSL match with six that afternoon (she also created four goals in that game). Arsenal are tied with Manchester City for the longest winning run, with 12 consecutive wins- Manchester City will break this record if they win their next match against Chelsea.
The all-time leading scorer in the WSL is Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema, who has scored an impressive 59 goals in 63 appearances so far. The other player to have scored 50+ goals is England striker Ellen White with 56 and Ellen played for Arsenal until 2013. Jordan Nobbs is fifth in the WSL’s all-time scoring charts with 46 goals.
Only two players have simultaneously topped the scoring and assist charts in a WSL season- both are Arsenal players, Kim Little in 2012 and Vivianne Miedema in 2019-20. The two players to combine for the most goals in the Women’s Super League are Vivianne Miedema and Beth Mead with 13 goals, second is Vivianne Miedema and Danielle van de Donk with 12 goals (Miedema and Nobbs have combined eight times, as have Miedema and McCabe).
Miedema also holds the current record for WSL hat-tricks with five (her six goals against Bristol City in November 2019 only counts once). The player with the best win ratio in WSL history – among players with at least 20 appearances – is Arsenal’s Viki Schnaderbeck, with the Austrian winning 18 of her 21 games (85.7%).
Of the top ten assisters in WSL history, seven have played for Arsenal in the WSL era (lead assister Karen Carney played for Arsenal prior to the formation of the league). Those players are Beth Mead (2nd), Jordan Nobbs (joint 3rd), Fara Williams (joint 3rd), Gemma Davison, Ellen White and Vivianne Miedma (joint 5th) and Katie McCabe (10th). Kim Little’s 13 penalty conversions make her the most prolific scorer from the spot in WSL history.
all data is courtesy of Opta.