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Game Plan for Growth

The FA
The journey to double participation in the female game


Over the next six weeks, The FA will review the impact of The Gameplan for Growth strategy on the women’s and girls’ game. Launched in March 2017, the strategy pledged to tackle ambitious targets to double participation [by doubling the number of affiliated teams], double the game’s fanbase and create a high-performance system and world-class talent pipeline for England teams to achieve consistent success on the world stage.

After four seasons the strategy is now concluding, and The FA will outline its continued support for the sport with the launch of the women and girls’ strategy in the coming months.

Over the next six weeks you will hear from individuals who have been integral to the strategy’s success as we review the strategy’s impact across participation, fanbase, coaching, refereeing, England teams and the professional game.


• 3.4m women and girls playing football
• 9,251 affiliated teams, 54% increase from 2016
• 1,621 Wildcats centres established across the country an increase of 715% from 2017
• 2,000 Shooting Stars inspired by Disney programmes attended by 18,000 girls in Primary Schools
• Over 100 Girls’ Football Schools Partnerships - supported by Barclays created and reaching over 6,000 schools
• 147 Just Play centres for adults introduced in 2019/20
• 88 Community Club Organisations providing opportunities for 55,800 women and girls


In our region Women and Girls Football Development Officer Kirsty Leake has had tremendous success in not only in raising the profile of female football but in also increasing the amount of women who are getting involved in the game. This season we have seen nearly 2000 women and girls play in affiliated football, 12 Wildcat centres created and 17 newly qualified Level One coaches enter the game. This is on top of the 79 Level One female coaches who are already involved with teams.

This season has also seen the creation of a new FA Coach Mentor programme for female coaches and the delivery of a female only basic referee course.

Click here to find your local club.