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11 September 2020

Brighton manager Hope Powell worries for homegrown talent as WSL attracts star signings

Brighton and Hove Albion boss Hope Powell has said the only ‘danger’ of the Women’s Super League signing big stars is that homegrown talent gets overlooked.

The WSL has signed over 30 internationals over the summer, including two-time World Cup winners Christen Press and Tobin Heath, but Powell has stressed young players may not get game time.

“This is no disrespect to the American league, but it has curtailed so those players want to come over and play. Then players in Europe are seeing those players come over, so they want to come over," she told The Argus.

“All be it they are going to the top four clubs so that could be financial as much as anything else. People are raving about the league, the quality of the players coming in attracts more quality, doesn’t it?

“The only danger is that from my perspective, is there enough young English talent getting the opportunity to play when there are major tournaments not too far round the corner.”

The WSL have agreed with the Football Association to have a quota of homegrown talent in their squads from next season. In their 25-strong squads a minimum of eight players should have trained at the club or another club in England for at least three years before their 21st birthday.

Powell has said this quota could prevent the WSL having a problem.

“If you flood the league with foreign players, it ends up being very much like what happened with the men is where is the young talent coming through.

“There is a homegrown player rule that comes in next season, which perhaps could help.”

Brighton’s next match in the WSL is against Manchester City away on Sunday.

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