It’s the FIFA Women’s Football World Cup!!!

This month, right now in France.

With thanks to the FA for the use of this video.

Group A : France, South Korea, Norway, Nigeria

Group B:  Germany, China, Spain, South Africa

Group C: Australia, Italy, Brazil, Jamaica

Group D: England, Scotland, Argentina, Italy

Group E: Canada, Cameroon, New Zealand, Netherlands

Group F: U.S.A, Thailand, Chile, Sweden

The BBC has live coverage of all the matches

9th June

England v Scotland 5 p.m BBC One

14th June

Japan v Scotland 2 p.m BBC One

England v Argentina 8 p.m  BBC One

19th June

Japan v England  8 p.m BBC One

Scotland v Argentina 8 p.m BBC Four

football for young people
football for young people

Let’s take a look at who is in the squad and which clubs they play for...

Manchester City players

Captain: Steph Houghton

Goalkeeper: Karen Bardsley,

Abbie McManus,

Demi Stokes,

Keira Walsh,

Georgia Stanway,

Jill Scott,

Nikita Parris,

Chelsea Players

Carly Telford,

Karen Carney,

Fran Kirby,

Millie Bright

Mary Earps, Wolfsburg

Lucy Bronze, Lyon

Rachel Daly, Houston Dash

Alex Greenwood Manchester United

Leah Williamson, Arsenal

Beth Mead, Arsenal

Jade Moore, Reading

Lucy Staniforth, Birmingham City

Toni Duggan, Barcelona

Ellen White, Birmingham City

Jodie Taylor, Seattle Reign

We've featured 3 players from the Lionesses squad below, Goalkeeper

Karen Bardsley, Captain Steph Houghton and Nikita Parris.

Nikita Parris 26 5.JPG


Nikita Parris
Club: Manchester City
England debut: v Serbia 04.06.16
Caps: 32
Goals: 11
DOB: 10.03.94

Nikita Parris has represented England from U17 level to seniors and is one of the first names on Phil Neville’s teamsheet.

She helped England to SheBelieves Cup success in March 2019 - on the scoresheet in the 2-2 draw with America.

‘Keets’ started her career at youth level with Everton and progressed through the ranks from the club’s Centre of Excellence to the first-team.

She made her debut for the Merseysiders in the 2010/11 Women’s Champions League qualifying tournament.

In the summer of 2011, the pacey forward was named in Mo Marley’s squad for the inaugural FA WSL and made a name for herself as a scorer of breathtaking goals.

As one of the country’s rising stars, Parris was named Everton’s Player of the Year at the club’s End of Season Awards in May 2014.

In a unique double for Manchester City and England, she was voted FWA Women’s Footballer of the Year with Raheem Sterling voted the men’s Footballer of the Year for 2019.

Steph H.JPG


Steph Houghton
Club: Manchester City
England debut: v Russia 03.03.07
Caps: 104
Goals: 12
DOB: 23.04.88
Place of birth: Durham

Steph Houghton has represented her country at every level, totaling more than 100 appearances for England.

She was awarded her 100th cap ahead of the meeting with Sweden at Rotherham last November.

She joined Manchester City on New Year’s Day 2014 in the hope of advancing an already illustrious career.

Houghton turned professional at local club Sunderland Ladies before signing for Leeds United Ladies in 2007. The transfer was a successful one for the Durham-born left-back who was named the 2008 FA Women’s Young Player of the Year. In 2010, she also picked up a FA Women’s Cup winners medal with Leeds.

Although predominantly a left-sided defender, Houghton appeared in a variety of positions for the Lilywhites and her versatility attracted particular interest from Arsenal. She signed for the Gunners in August 2010, appearing 12 times and scoring twice during her time in North London. She then went on to lift the FA Women’s Cup with the club as captain.

Representing Team GB at the Olympics, Houghton became a household name by scoring in all three group matches, including the winning goals against New Zealand and Brazil.

A rock for City throughout the 2014 season, she was awarded the captain’s armband for her country and went on to become the first female to appear on the front cover of Shoot Magazine.

She will lead the Lionesses at this summer’s World Cup finals.

Karen Bardsley.JPG


Karen Bardsley
Club: Manchester City
England debut: v Northern Ireland 9.3.05
Caps: 76
Goals: 0
DOB: 14.10.84
Place of birth: Santa Monica, California

Born and brought up in the US but eligible for the England national team through family connections to Stockport, Bardsley is a regular between the sticks on the international stage. She made her Lionesses debut in 2005, and also went on to pick up five caps for Great Britain at the London Olympics.

Having patiently served as understudy to Rachel Brown, Bardsley has retained her place ever since she broke into the England set-up.

She played all four matches at the World Cups in 2011 and 2015 and was part of the squad to secure a bronze medal at the latter in Canada.

At the 2017 European Championships, Bardsley played in England’s first two group games (against Scotland and Spain) but was rested in the final group game against Portugal. She suffered a fractured tibia in England’s quarter-final against France and did not take any further part in the tournament.

More recently, Bardsley was one of three goalkeepers to travel to the SheBelieves Cup and played 90 minutes in Phil Neville’s side’s second game against the USA.

Domestically, the 5”11 goalkeeper kicked off her professional career at Ajax America Women before moving to Pali Blues in 2008. The following year, she signed for Sky Blue FC, making 17 appearances. In August 2011 Bardsley signed for Swedish club Linköpings FC before signing for Lincoln Ladies in 2012.

She joined Manchester City in November 2013 and in 2014, was a focal part of their Continental Cup-winning campaign, producing a number of spectacular saves on City’s road to success. Further glory would follow as the Blues secured a top-two finish in 2015 to secure Champions League football for the first time, and in 2016, Nick Cushing’s side would clinch an historic league and cup double.

In May 2017, she completed the set of domestic trophies with an FA Cup Final triumph at Wembley and - although much of her campaign was blighted by injury - played her part in clinching European football for the third consecutive year as the Blues finished second in 2017.

Off the field, Bardsley is currently studying a Masters of Sports Directorship at Manchester Metropolitan University.

football for girls
football for girls

So how do you get involved with football if you’ve never tried it or if you only play at school or with friends in the park but fancy a bit of coaching or match play?

There’s a free Superkicks app for 5-8 year olds to help you play football, have fun and learn core skills. Your parents can download it on the Amazon App Store or Apple App store.

women footballers
football for girls


Go to and there’s a search box at the bottom of the page to find a club local to you.


The FA want to double participation in football for women and girls by 2020. Go to and click on the ‘Women’s and Girls’ tab at the top of the page. This will then take you through to a section about SSE Wildcats. This is a scheme for 5-11 year old girls where there are weekly football sessions after school or on weekends for girls to make friends, have fun and be active through football. There are 1,200 centres across the country so there’s bound to be one local to you. There’s a search box to find your closest centre.

If over 11 just use the search box to find your local club.

On 14th June get all your friends involved in Soccer Aid for Unicef's Playground Challenge.


The Soccer Aid for Unicef Playground Challenge launches today, encouraging hundreds of schools across the UK to get activeThousands of children will create their own football-inspired obstacle courses, raising vital funds for UnicefThe F2 Freestylers are calling on the nation’s children to take part in a Playground Challenge on Friday 14 JuneFind more info on the Playground Challenge at

Thursday 25th April – The F2 Freestylers Billy Wingrove and Jeremie Lynch are today asking schools up and down the country to sign up for the Soccer Aid for Unicef Playground Challenge. 

On Friday 14 June, thousands of pupils across the UK will design their own unique football-themed obstacle course, letting their imagination run wild at playtime. Children are encouraged to bring in a small donation from home to take part, don their favourite footy strip, and raise vital funds for Unicef. The money raised will help make sure that children around the world are happy, healthy, and safe to play. And even better, every pound donated to Soccer Aid for Unicef until 23 July 2019 will be matched by the UK government, doubling the difference made to children’s lives.

Skills superstars the F2 Freestylers, visited a Unicef Rights Respecting school to try out a Playground Challenge for themselves. Put through their paces by the children of Lawdale Junior School, London, the F2 Freestylers spoke to the kids about the importance of play and also taught them some amazing footy skills that would make Eden Hazard jealous.

The F2 Freestylers will be on opposing teams for the Soccer Aid for Unicef football match on Sunday 16th June at Stamford Bridge, with Billy Wingrove playing for the Soccer Aid World XI and Jeremie Lynch lining up for the England team. Jeremie will be hoping to relive the glory of last year when he scored for the England team.

F2 Freestyler Jeremie Lynch said: “Scoring a goal in the match last year was an incredible feeling, but Soccer Aid for Unicef is about so much more than just the game. We get to spend time with all the players who over the week become your mates - even people like our heroes Usain Bolt and Sir Mo Farah! Being able to play and have fun is like being a child again, and it really takes you back to the great times we had as children. We’re mucking about with our mates so that every child gets to do that too, raising money to help Unicef deliver vaccines, make safe spaces, and defend play for every child and the Playground Challenge is a great way for you and your mates to do that too. What are you waiting for?”

F2 Freestyler Billy Wingrove said: “Play is a massive part of childhood. It’s a terrible thing for an adult to look back and realise they haven’t had that joy, being free to play and having no responsibilities. You wouldn’t wish that on anyone and you should never rob a child of that. By supporting Soccer Aid for Unicef this year you can help make sure children around the world have a childhood full of play, just like they deserve. And every pound you raise will be doubled by the UK government. What better reason to get involved is there?”

Secretary of State for International Development Penny Mordaunt said: “Since 2012, our partnership with Soccer Aid for Unicef has saved lives across the world’s poorest countries by reducing child mortality and helping transform maternal and new born care for more than 4.5 million people.

"By teaming up again this year, we will be helping even more children to play, live healthy lives and reach their full potential.

"UK aid will double every pound the British public donates to Soccer Aidfor Unicef, meaning their generosity will go twice as far."

Last year the Soccer Aid for Unicef Playground Challenge worked with nearly 2,000 schools across the country, engaging thousands of children with the work of Unicef. This year Soccer Aid for Unicef wants to reach a staggering one million kids and make this the biggest Playground Challenge yet.

To continue the fun, pupils will learn about health, education and play for other children around the world, via a set of free, curriculum-linked online teaching resources.

For more information or to find out how you can get involved in the Soccer Aid for Unicef Playground Challenge and access free resources visit:  

The Playground Challenge is not the only way to be involved in Soccer Aid for Unicef this year as we call on the whole nation to come out to play. Whether you are taking part in The Great Big Kickabout between 14th to 16th June or watching the Soccer Aid for Unicef football match on Father’s Day, Sunday 16th June broadcast live on ITV and STV, we want your help in defending play for every child.

Soccer Aid for Unicef is produced by Initial, part of Endemol Shine UK, for ITV.

For more information on Soccer Aid for Unicef please call: 

Unicef UK: 0207 375 6030 or email 

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