Women's Super League: Homegrown players quota agreed for 2021-22 season

Reading v Manchester United
The new Women's Super League season gets under way on Saturday

Women's Super League teams will have to include at least eight homegrown players in their registered squads from the 2021-22 season onwards.

The rule change has been agreed between clubs and the Football Association, which runs the WSL, and the FA hope to increase the quota in future years.

It comes amid the arrival of a wide range of international players to the 12-team WSL throughout this summer.

The rule will not apply for the 2020-21 campaign, which starts on Saturday.

From next season, of each club's squad cap of 25 registered players, a minimum of eight must have been trained by their club, or another club in England, for at least three years prior to their 21st birthday.

In the Women's Championship - England's second tier - a higher proportion of players (60%) will have to be homegrown. Championship squad sizes vary, but a full-sized squad of 25 players would need at least 15 who were homegrown, or 14 in a squad of 24.

"We have an agreement with the clubs and the board that from 2021-22, we'll bring in homegrown quotas that will be the same as the men's game," said the FA's director of the women's professional game, Kelly Simmons.

"The other big one that will impact a club's abilities to access foreign talent will be once we 'Brexit'.

"That will inevitably make it more challenging [to sign for an English club], unless you're a top talent.

"We want world-class players and we've seen some amazing signings. That's brilliant for the league and it's brilliant for the England players because those who are playing here, they're playing against some of the best players in the world.

"Of course, we want to make sure that we've got space for English talent as well. It's always about trying to find that balance and work with the clubs and the league board to get the right balance."

Clubs to be allowed up to six long-term loans at once

The WSL have also agreed to increase the limit on long-term loan deals, from two per club to six.

Head of league operations Lauren O'Sullivan added: "In terms of long-term loans [window to window], we've increased it to six.

"We went through a consultation process with the clubs and we also reviewed that type of regulation across the professional game as well. The ambition is to give players better access to meaningful minutes."

The new WSL season begins on Saturday when newly promoted Aston Villa host Manchester City at Villa Park.

Simmons also confirmed that a minute's applause will be held before all WSL matches this weekend to show appreciation for the National Health Service, after which all teams are set to take a knee to show solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement.

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