The Women’s Super League is back and better than ever. Following a season that saw record-breaking attendance records and new clubs shaking things up at the top of the table, the upcoming campaign isn’t one to miss.
There’s a lot to be excited about this time around. Of course, there are WSL veterans, World Cup champions, and some of the world’s best leading the charge this season, but we’d rather focus on the bright, young talents that are gearing up to make their own marks this year.
All 12 clubs have a whole host of young players, bursting with energy and skill sets far beyond their years. The future of women’s football is now, and it’s time everyone caught up.
Here’s the VERSUS guide to the best of the best young players to look out for in one of women’s football’s biggest leagues.
It’s been a big year for Mia Fishel. 17 goals in 17 appearances for Tigres in LigaMX Femenil last season earned the San Diego native a championship medal, a first cap for the national team and a switch to Emma Hayes’ title-winning Chelsea side. Wow. Signed by the Blues as a rotation option for their all star attack, Fishel is prepared to learn from the best and produce when called upon. A relentless presser with a natural eye for goal, Big Fish is ready to make waves this side of the Atlantic. Keep it locked.
Emily Ramsey’s inclusion in Sarina Weigman’s 26-strong Arnold Clark Cup squad back in February is an indication of how highly the young Mancunian is rated around the league. Ambitious as well as talented, Ramsey has dreams of playing at the highest level. Having graduated from Manchester United’s Centre of Excellence, she decided to leave her hometown for gametime elsewhere – joining Brian Sørensen’s Everton signed on a permanent deal in the summer. Having started 3 of the Blues last 4 games last season, Ramsey is ready to solidify her place as one of the league’s top stoppers.
Club: Leicester City
Not many 17 year olds can say they’ve scored the goal to save their hometown club from relegation. Not many 17 year olds are as talented as Ava Baker, though. A product of the Foxes academy, Baker’s most important senior goal was also her first. She flicked home the winner against Brighton on the last day of the season just five minutes after being subbed on, announcing herself to the league and writing her name in Leicester history. This year, Baker’s ready to turn up the heat. A regular in the England youth setup, it’s only a matter of time before she rises to the top.
Mia Enderby loves goals. Go and watch her comps on Youtube and you’ll see it immediately. It’s the way she runs after a through ball, hurtling towards it like her life depends on it. She has an innate need to score and, more often than not, she does. Picked up from Sheffield United this summer, the Yorkshire shooter collected nine across all comps last year AS A 17-YEAR OLD. Now in the big-time, she’s ready to help drag the Reds into the battle at the top of the table. Remember the name.
Club: Manchester United
Melvine Malard is a winner – period. Only 23 and already holds four Women’s Champions League titles. That’s the type of quality United’s got up front for their first-ever season in the competition. UEFA said she was one of the most promising young talents back in 2020, and she’s only lived up to the hype. She’s racked up 19 goals in 54 appearances for a stacked Lyon side, making her senior team debut at only 17. Agile and quick, she can create chances just as much as she puts them to bed. On loan from the European giants, this baller’s ready to trouble some waters across the Channel.
Club: Manchester City
By now, everyone should know Mary Fowler’s name. One of Man City’s brightest – and youngest – talents, she’s already made herself known on a global scale. Her two seasons at Montpellier turned heads, and with a spot at one of the biggest clubs in the world, there’s no telling how far she can go. Even Sam Kerr agrees that this Matilda is the future of football. City’s roster may be full of shooters and big names, but after Fowler’s standout World Cup performance, it’s time they make way for the youngest in charge.
Celin Bizet Ildhusøy
Club: Tottenham Hotspur
Celin Bizet Ildhusøy’s about to enter her second season in the WSL, and she’s got a point to prove. There must be something in the Scandinavian air. All the best ballers seem to come from the North. This Norwegian star is no exception. She’s known for her skillful flicks and tricks, and an acrobatic goal or two. She scores impossible goals for fun. It took her some time to find her footing in North London, but with a strong season under her belt, Ildhusøy’s about to introduce a bit of Nordic ice to English football.
Club: West Ham
Izzy Atkinson is an Irish Blessing. She started her career close to home at Shelbourne, before moving to Celtic in 2021. She made an immediate impact at the Glaswegian club, burying a goal in extra time to lift the Scottish Women’s Cup. She’s a dynamic player, most comfortable on the wing, but capable of playing as a left back. That dynamism and her skill on the ball landed her a move to West Ham in 2022, and her debut season did not disappoint. This baller is a specialist in solo goals, and her 15 performances for the Irons last season were all Vera Pauw needed to send her to Ireland’s first-ever World Cup. Don’t sleep on this one. Izzy’s ready to run the WSL with an iron fist.
Kyra Cooney-Cross is a midfield maestro in the making. The Aussie youngster is the latest weapon to join the Arsenal, and after the year she’s had, it’s no wonder the Gooners are ready to roll out the Tim Tams and Vegemite. KCC made serious waves Down Under this summer, starting every match for the Tillies. She orchestrated play with glorious long balls and calculated passes, guiding the co-hosts to a historic fourth place World Cup finish. With a co-sign from none other than Ian Wright himself, this Gunner’s destined for greatness in North London.
Club: Aston Villa
Ebony Salmon’s back in England, and this fish is ready to school her agemates in the WSL. After travelling across the pond to get her sea legs, she’s made a much-awaited return to Birmingham with a few tricks up her sleeve. Three seasons in the NWSL saw Salmon smoking competition across the United States. She stunned at Racing Louisville, but her short stint at Houston Dash had the Texans craving freshwater fish every week. She scored 11 goals in 36 appearances, helping the girls in orange reach their first NWSL playoffs. Now she’s back at her girlhood club to show off what she’s learned in the last five years. Those link ups with Rachel Daly in front of goal are going to be unforgettable.
Club: Brighton & Hove Albion
Katie Robinson is a name to remember. This starlet hails from Cornwall, but she’s got fans stargazing from Sussex all the way to Lancashire. Man City and United have been scoping out the youngster, but the South of England is still her stomping ground for another season. After an ACL injury forced her to sit out her first season at Brighton, the 2022/23 campaign was a breakout moment for Robinson. Her four goals and six assists in 22 appearances won her the club’s Player of the Season award, and a spot in the Lionesses World Cup squad. Expect nothing but class from Robbo this season.
Club: Bristol City
Shania Hayles is one of the coolest goalscorers around. She’s got it all – pace, technique, power. And she makes scoring bangers look ridiculously easy. This Reggae Girl isn’t a new face in the league. Started out in Birmingham with the Villans, but decided she was more of a Vixen instead. With an absolute rocket of a left foot, Hayles fired Bristol City to the top of the Championship table last season, bagging the club’s Golden Boot with 13 contributions. After a phenomenal first season at the West Country club, this stargirl is back in the WSL and ready to prove she’s up there with the best. We might see a new name on the top scorer rankings this year.