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The Football Association (FA) has announced the eight clubs that will form England's new FA Women's Super League from March 2011.
Arsenal LFC, the 2007 UEFA Women's Cup winners, are among the sides awarded two-year licences from 16 applicants, along with Birmingham City LFC, Bristol Academy WFC, Chelsea LFC, Doncaster Rovers Belles, Everton, Lincoln LFC and Liverpool LFC. Each team will have a mixture of professional and semi-professional players and the season will take place over the summer, supplying entrants to the following year's UEFA Women's Champions League.
FA chief executive Ian Watmore said: "We are delighted to be in a position to announce the eight clubs that will take part in the new Women's Super League. With England's international women's teams doing so well and participation levels here at such a high, it's vital we have a competitive, well structured and commercially sustainable league at the top of the women's game. We want to ensure our talented players can play their football here without having to look overseas."
Gerry Sutcliffe, the UK minister of sport, added: "It's fantastic that the Women's Super League is a step closer to getting off the ground. Women's football is one of the fastest growing sports in the country but there is still room for further growth. The Super League will shine the spotlight even brighter on the women's game, encourage more young women to take up the sport and help develop stars that will represent the ever-improving women's national team."
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