FA unveils plans for womens game
The Football Association unveiled plans that they hope will help women's football overtake cricket as the second-most played sport in England.
Women's football was one of the biggest success stories of London 2012 and the FA on Wednesday announced a five-year plan to increase the popularity of the sport in the country.
Women's football is currently the fourth-most popular sport in terms of participation behind men's football, cricket, and rugby.
The FA hope the measures will get 253,600 women playing football each month by 2018.
At a launch at Wembley this morning, the governing body announced that they will appoint a head of elite development in a similar role to the one recently assumed by Dan Ashworth in the men's side of the game, and create an elite performance unit that will help nurture up and coming stars of the women's game.
The Women's Super League, a semi-professional league that was established in 2011, will be expanded to two leagues from the summer of 2014.
The FA also hope to secure more broadcast coverage of the women's game, and also hope to increase revenue from sponsorship.
FA chairman David Bernstein said: "Women's football is the area with the most potential for growth in the nation's favourite game. We are determined to lead that development at every level and have created a robust plan for doing so using all our resources and knowledge."