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The Australian Women’s League kicks off this weekend, and we’re excited because it leads up to the opportunity for these ladies to go to next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.

Interestingly, the league will welcome local and big-name international players, including former USA youth internationals and will comprise of eight teams in total.

Headlining the list of world stars are Germany goalkeeper Nadine Angerer, former Canada U-20 captain Shelina Zadorsky and one-time USA World Cup midfielder Lori Lindsey.

The 14-week summer season runs until the end of December and is perfectly timed for NWSL-based players looking to continue playing during the North American off-season.

Said Melbourne Victory and Australia fullback Steph Catley : “The possession-based football in the W-League I think is brilliant. The intensity at training is really high, and similar to the US.”

ďThe W-League has some really classy players. It is catching up to leagues around the world. I know of several Americans that wanted to come here, so the league has really grown, and there is so much interest from overseas.
ďThere is not that much different from the way Melbourne is run compared to Portland, but there are little things of course such as memberships.”

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In England’s league, Chelsea are top of the pile with 23 points after goals from Yuki Ogimi, Jackie Groenen and Ji Soyeon earned them a 3-2 win over Arsenal last Friday. It is also their seventh victory of the campaign, and they remain contenders to win the title, although Birmingham City follow closely behind in second place.

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes said: “I think everybody would call us favourites. But as far as Iím concerned itís still in Birminghamís hands. Iíll know at the end of the season, I jumped on my assistant Paul at the end. It was a passionate game, it was full of a lot of intense moments from both teams, but it was also littered with a lot of mistakes and thatís because there was a lot at stake.”

Added Eni Aluko : “The great thing about that win was that you could understand us playing within ourselves and being nervous because it was such a crunch game, but we dominated possession.

“We played with freedom and we enjoyed it. That’s the big difference with our team now. Mentally we know what we’re capable of.”

Top three on the WSL Table : Chelsea Ladies (23), Birmingham City Ladies (20), Liverpool Ladies (19).