How Manchester City forced their way to the top of WSL

Manchester City have set themselves up as one of England’s three powerhouses in the last few years.

However, City’s rise compared to other clubs, though has been meteoric, perhaps unsurprisingly so.

Of course, City have had huge help through the ownership of the Abu Dhabi United Group. They’ve built various facilities and invested heavily in both backroom and playing staff.

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The takeover, and subsequent founding of Manchester City Women in 2012, City have cruised comfortably into the leagues top three.

The Cushing effect

Where it takes many clubs across the globe decades to establish themselves as top dogs in their leagues, and longer to find any kind of success in Europe, it has been done at an incredible pace by Manchester City.

In 2013 City appointed promising youth coach Nick Cushing as head coach and he has become an integral cog to the organisation. He’s battling it out for the title of best manager along with Emma Hayes and Joe Montemuro.

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It’s somewhat surprising that the 34-year-old hasn’t been prised away in the nearly seven years he has held the position.

After all how many managers of that age can boast a trophy cabinet with six trophies in?

Importance of City’s in-house talent

City have produced homegrown stars in Keira Walsh, Ellie Roebuck, Demi Stokes and Georgia Stanway.

All of whom have been capped by England at senior level.

They have also kept Europe supplied with a steady stream of talent. Lucy Bronze, Izzy Christiensen and Nikita Parris all decided to leave for the glamour of Lyon.

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Steph Houghton, Karen Bardsley and Jill Scott remain at the club. They are the lynchpins of the side from near enough the start of the WSL.

Steph Houghton has made 131 appearances for the club and Jill Scott has 129 of her own.

All of this comes with solid average attendances for the top-flight. They averaged 2,253 in 2016. As well as the record league attendance with 31,000 in the Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium earlier this year.

City are also reportedly building a brand new 21,000 capacity stadium to host matches. They clearly seeing a big future for the women’s game.

If City carries on the same trajectory, along with women’s football, it isn’t hard to imagine growing crowds flocking to a brand new stadium to watch European titans battle it out.

The most promising thing about all of the success that has come in this short amount of time is that it doesn’t look like City are going anywhere. The biggest challenge will come once the rest of the league catches up in terms of spending power.

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Manchester United and West Ham United will be the coming powers in the next few years. Whether City can beat off the challenges that come with that is yet to be seen, but one thing is for sure, City will be ready and waiting.