The 2022/23 Serie A Femminile season is almost upon us and it’s a landmark one for a number of reasons. The main headline is that 2022/23 will be the first fully-professional season of women’s football in Italy as it was officially confirmed over the summer that every player is now a professional athlete.
This puts it at the same level as the likes of the English WSL and the Spanish Primera Division.
The president of the FIGC, Gabriele Gravina, called it an ‘important day’ and also said: “Finally there are the rules governing the activity and practice of professionalism in women’s football.”
Total Italian Football patrons can listen to our exclusive interview with Sassuolo and Scotland forward Lana Clelland who spoke passionately about the importance of the new professional status.
Serie A Femminile title race: Juventus, AS Roma or Sassuolo?
It was Juventus who came out on top last season and they won their fifth Scudetto in a row. It was not as routine as it may seem though, with AS Roma, in particular, pushing them until the last couple of weekends of the season.
Earlier in the campaign though, it was Sassuolo who were keeping pace with Juventus until various injuries to keep players meant their title hopes fell away.
AC Milan were expected to make more of a dent last season but in-fighting led to poor form and they had to settle for third place and a year away from the Women’s Champions League.
As for this season, it is incredibly difficult to look past Juventus once again. The Bianconere have lost Lina Hurtig but they still have Joe Montemurro in charge and most of the team from last season are still there.
Young players such as Sofia Cantore and Arianna Caruso will be looking to reach a new level this season and the depth that they have is incredible.
The team most likely to challenge them are Roma who have certainly got into a rhythm with Alessandro Spugna. They were unbeaten for the final 16 games last season and within that was a nine-game winning streak.
They have added Norma Cinotti to the midfield from Empoli who will bring very welcome depth but more importantly, they have signed Valentina Giacinti from Milan. She fell out with Milan coach Maurizio Ganz last season and ended up on loan at Fiorentina. As arguably the most talented Italian striker, she will have a major point to prove with Roma in 2022/23.
It has been a busy summer for Sassuolo as they have had a few important players to replace. Sofia Cantore returning to Juventus weakens the front line but simply having the early season starters back from injury will be a huge boost.
They may be more of an unknown quantity this season but Gianpiero Piovani is a superb coach who you trust to get the best out of whatever he is given. Eleonora Goldoni and Asia Bragonzi are particularly interesting acquisitions for the Neroverde.
The final possible contender is Milan who have lost Giacinti but added Sweden international Kosovare Asllani to the squad. The two Czech sisters, Kamila Dubcova and Michaela Dubcova, have also joined from Sassuolo and Slovacko respectively, which will be very interesting.
The issue is that there seemed to be a revolt last season against Ganz and he is still in charge so it is hard to picture the Rossonere suddenly overthrowing Juventus.
The new Serie A Femminile 2022/23 format
Not only is there the change if it now being a professional league, Serie A Femminile is also undergoing a major format change for 2022/23.
The changes were announced in February by the FIGC. There were 12 teams last season and it was a conventional league where the top team won the title, and joined second in the qualification rounds of the Women’s Champions League, and the bottom three went down to Serie B.
Only one was promoted to Serie A this season rather than three so that it can become a 10-team league.
Those teams will play each other home and away (18 games each), but then two mini-leagues will be formed.
The top five will play each other home and away again, (eight games each) with the team finishing top being crowned champions. They will start this mini-league with the points total that they amassed in the regular season. The top two still go into the Women’s Champions League.
As for the bottom five teams, their relation battle will follow the same eight-game each format with the bottom team being relegated to Serie B. The second-bottom team will play in a play-off against the team that finished second in Serie B.
Who is new to Serie A Femminile?
As mentioned, only one team was promoted to Serie A Femminile from Serie B last season, Como Women, which means there is less to look out for than normal in that regard.
What has added some extra intrigue is the fact that Parma brought Empoli’s status and will be playing their first season in Serie A Femminile. It was announced that there matches will be played at the Stadio Ennio Tardini.
The season kicks off with Como playing host to Juventus on Saturday, August 27. There are then four games on the Sunday, the headline fixture likely being Milan vs Fiorentina.