WSL Continental Cup: Competition moves to knockout format

Arsenal Ladies
Arsenal Ladies have reached all five WSL Continental Cup finals to date

The WSL Continental Cup is to scrap its group stage and will be played in a knockout format from next season.

The WSL's six lowest teams will now play a preliminary round of fixtures in May, before WSL Two sides host WSL One opponents in the first round in July.

Arsenal beat Notts County in last year's final to win their fourth title in the competition's five-year history.

Manchester City are the only other team to have lifted the cup, having beaten the Gunners in the 2014 final.

"We felt it was the right time to move to a knockout format and reduce some of the issues we had with the competition - such as dead rubber games," said Football Association director of development and participation Kelly Simmons.

"The new format will bring the excitement of a knockout competition but still ensure that WSL Two clubs get to face WSL One opponents, providing development opportunities."

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