ROUND 1: New-look Women’s National League gets underway

New Zealand’s top women’s domestic competition has undergone a revamp with an expansion in teams and a groundbreaking move to live-stream all 46 games in the competition.

The Women’s National League gets underway on Saturday September 23, with games in Palmerston North, Wellington and Auckland.

Here’s what to expect …

League format

The league has increased from eight to 10 teams, the same as for the men’s competition, and will operate a hybrid model with club sides, combined federation and club teams and federations teams with a view to the women’s National League Championship moving to a fully club-based league in future seasons.

Teams will play a nine-round competition.

The competition ends with a grand final between the top two sides on Sunday November 26, which will be a double header with the grand final of the Men’s National League.

The teams

Auckland United, Eastern Suburbs and Western Springs return for the 2023 season after finishing first, second and third, respectively, in the Lotto NRFL Women’s Premiership.

They are joined by newcomers Ellerslie, who finished fourth in the league.

Mirroring the men’s competition, Wellington Phoenix Academy will join the league for the first time in 2023.

Also representing the Capital Football region are federation teams delivered in partnership with club sides Wellington United and Waterside Karori as a pilot for clubs representing the region in future.

For the competition, the teams will be referred to as Capital Football Wellington United (styled as CF Wellington United) and Capital Football Waterside Karori (styled as CF Waterside Karori).

Federation teams Canterbury United Pride, Central Football and Southern United complete the league.

READ MORE: Fixtures schedule released for expanded Women’s National League >>>>

Main photo: What winning the Women’s National League looks like! Eastern Suburbs receive the trophy after winning last year’s Grand Final. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

How to watch

All the Women’s National League games will be live-streamed under a new content partnership between NZ Football and FIFA+.

READ MORE: ‘Gamechanging’ deal to provide more live-streaming of football than ever before >>>>


Games to be played on Saturday September 23, 2023

Central Football v Western Springs
Massey University, Palmerston North, 12pm

Ellerslie v Wellington Phoenix
Michaels Ave, Ellerslie, 2.45pm

PREVIEW: Ellerslie’s Ponies ready to make club history with National League debut >>>>

PREVIEW: Young Phoenix women ready to step up to National League challenge >>>>

CF Waterside Karori v CF Wellington United
Martin Luckie Park, Berhampore, 4pm

PREVIEW: First day derby to provide clues for how new-look Wellington teams will fare >>>>

Games to be played on Sunday September 24, 2023

Auckland United v Canterbury United
Keith Hay Park, Mt Roskill, 2pm

Southern United v Eastern Suburbs
Logan Park, Dunedin, 2pm

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