June issue available now online and in store
The new WSC – including a Women's World Cup fixture Wallchart – is out now, available from all good newsagents or to order from the WSC shop.
Women's World Cup Wallchart
Track the tournament's progress with our fixture wallchart, including all matches and stadiums.
Stadium special: The impact of Spurs' new home | Matches on building sites | How to open a ground
Women's World Cup preview: England, Scotland, USA, Japan | Tribute to Billy McNeill | Watching Wolves in exile | Accents and nicknames – the rules for players' shirts | What went wrong at Ipswich? | Mexican team with US fans | Woking v Torquay six-pointer | The value of audio commentary at the match | Moise Kean isolated by the authorities | Focus on Nolberto Solano | Edinburgh's last title win
Pride lands Women's World Cup preview
When the Lionesses set off for Toronto in May 2015, there were few in the country who were aware that there was a Women’s World Cup kicking off the following month. Four years later and the England team are ranked among the favourites. As reports filtered through about England’s progress in Canada – the time difference helping to keep attention muted – more and more fans began to take notice and the interest in the home league instantly swelled following the tournament. Since the bronze in Edmonton – reward for beating Germany after 120 minutes – the team have only been on an upward curve, heavy investment from the FA felt across the women’s national teams from youth to senior, the home leagues and, crucially, youth participation. Putting a Game Plan for Growth into motion two years ago, the Association has already met and surpassed a number of their targets to boost growth across the entire women’s game.
Woking 3-3 Torquay United Title decider in the National League South
The match was made all-ticket weeks ago. There wasn’t a spare seat in the press box. Coaches and trains brought visiting supporters in their hundreds, a few bearing smoke bombs and flares. A significant police presence barred some from entering the stadium. There’s a BT Sport camera crew here yet Sky’s lead commentator Martin (“and it’s live!”) Tyler is also on the touchline. This is the title-decider. This is Woking v Torquay, the River Plate v Boca Juniors of the National League South. Where else in the world do you find this scale of passion at the sixth level?
Construction zone New stadiums
The front-row seats at Spurs' new home are closer to the pitch than at any other top-flight stadium, and there's a steep dip close to the touchline. So the subject of whether it would be possible to deliver effective corners was widely discussed ahead of the first competitive matches there. Thus far, although the margins for space are certainly tight, there doesn't appear to be a major flaw (as was suggested in several quarters) with the new ground; players haven't tumbled haplessly down into the advertising hoardings, or run out of space when taking corners. Yet structural faults have been part and parcel of football's new constructions for decades.
Shirt shrift Punctuation and nicknames
When Kelechi Iheanacho first wore a Leicester City shirt after his move from Manchester City, some noticed the punctuation under the first and last letters of his surname. The “dots” were sending a message, to millions in his native Nigeria. They tell Igbo speakers – more than 20 million globally – to pronounce the vowels in a specific way, holding their tongue lower in the mouth. “In our tradition, the exclamation under the names is very, very important,” Iheanacho says. “For me it is a way to express where I come from and for people to know I have this tradition and tribe back home. In the village if they are able to watch the game and see it, they will be proud.” He is not the only Premier League player to accent their name for accuracy.
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Woking v Torquay United photo by Simon Gill, Fran Kirby photo by Colorsport