Janine Beckie believes the growth of the women’s game on the back of the best-ever World Cup has been further amplified in the way the new FA Women’s Super League campaign is shaping up to be the most competitive yet.

After a superb September, which saw Nick Cushing’s side win all six of our games across three competitions, City currently share top spot in the Super League table alongside Arsenal.

However, Chelsea are just two points behind in third place with Everton and Spurs also in hot pursuit.

Ahead of this Saturday’s return to domestic action when City play host to Birmingham at the Academy Stadium, Canadian international striker Janine Beckie said the fierce battle for supremacy was yet further evidence of the development of the women’s game as a whole.

“I think the more quality teams that we can have in the league, the better,” said Beckie.

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“It just makes the competition that much tougher for everyone which is great.

“I think that benefits everybody to have a bigger, more competitive top part of the league than in the past years

“What you want as a player is big games every week. To have more teams be at the top of the league and competing is what you want as a player.”

The quality, excitement and increased exposure surrounding the women’s game has also been tangibly demonstrated by some record-breaking attendances in the first month of the new season.

City attracted a remarkable crowd of 31,000 for our historic women’s derby clash with Manchester United at the start of September – a record attendance for am FA Women’s Super League clash.

Meanwhile, Chelsea attracted a crowd of 24,000 for their encounter with Spurs while West Ham’s London derby with Tottenham at the end of September saw almost 25,000 fans attend the London Stadium – the second-best crowd in Super League.

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For her part, Beckie accepts the challenge is to retain and build on that level of interest and excitement.

But she said she was confident that the City fans will continue to show their passion and devotion to the team in particular and the game in general.

“There are amazing positives we’re seeing now - the test is going to be whether it lasts,” Beckie pointed out.

“It’s easy to be really excited about it at the beginning but then when it gets into as long season it’s about who will come back and continue to support us.

“We were blown away by the 31,000 who saw the derby. Obviously, you can’t have 31,000 at the Academy Stadium every game, but the Academy Stadium is one of the best venues in the league.

“We love our fans. They are great and we have such a loyal group and a lot travel with us which not a lot of teams can say and we’re thankful (for their support).

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“And I have high expectations for women’s football fans to continue the trend.”

One of the other big positives for City to have emerged so far this season is the sheer depth of quality in the squad – not least in Beckie’s strike department.

With England World Cup stars Ellen White and Georgia Stanway both side-lined with injury, the goal-scoring onus has instead fallen on the likes of Beckie and Pauline Bremer and they have more than answered the call with midfielder Caroline Weir also weighing in with several crucial goals.

For her part, Beckie believes the options now available to manager Nick Cushing both upfront and throughout the squad as a whole, only augur well with City competing for success on four fronts this term.

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“There is no lack of unbelievable players in the squad. It’s so important that we are scoring a lot of goals this season. The team don’t care who it is just so long as we are winning,” Beckie added.

“Pauline (Bremer) is on fire right now and she does her job every day.

“Then we have some incredible players who are injured right now like Georgia Stanway and Ellen White.

“Given the World Cup that Ellen had, everyone expects her to come in and have a big year. That’s a big ask after an injury but I know Ellen will be brilliant for us.

“That’s two world class players who are hopefully going to be back on the pitch for us after this international break and what you want is to make the manager’s decision difficult.

"I think it’s so important given it’s such a long season to have that depth and its really nice for Nick not to have the pick the same 11 week in, week out as he can have confidence in the depth that we have.”

City are next in action with the FA WSL visit of Birmingham to the Academy Stadium on Saturday 12 October (2pm). Tickets for all home games are on sale online and at the Etihad Stadium Ticket Office.