Bristol City Women’s Football Club
Bristol City Women’s Football Club is a women’s association football team based out of Bristol. Currently competing at the top level of women’s English football in Football Association Women Soccer League or FA WSL 1. A club that is only 21 years old, Bristol City W.F.C. has been renamed two times during their stint as a club. Nicknamed “The Vixens” and have worked their way up through two divisions to get to the top flight.
History of the Club
Originally formed in 1998 as Bristol Rovers W.F.C. from a merger between the Bristol Rovers girls’ teams and Welsh Cable-Tel L.F.C. Before the merger Bristol Rovers girls only had players up to the under-16 category. To avoid the repeating process of losing talented players once they turned 16, Bristol formed the merger. Not only did the merger let the team participate in the adult league, they also were automatically inserted into the South West Combination league.
Suddenly, Bristol went from not having an adult team, to competing just two levels below the top-tier of English women’s football. Merger also brought about the first name change as the team was rebranded Bristol Rovers W.F.C. and a new homefield at The Beeches. The Beeches located in Brislington is the training ground for the Bristol Rovers. The moving of fields continued as the team called 9 separate fields home.
From the time of the merger it only took two years for the new club to gain promotion into the FA Women’s Premier League Southern Division. 2 seasons after moving up to this division, the team once again earned a promotion to the FA Women’s Premier League National Division. This move up in competition did not go as smoothly as the team barely avoided regulation but the team established themselves shortly after by placing fifth twice in the following two seasons.
In 2005-2006 the club was once again rebranded and the name was changed to Bristol Academy in recognition of the involvement of the Bristol Academy of Sport. Due to lack of funding from the falling Bristol Rovers, the Bristol Academy was bankrolled by Bristol Academy of Sport for 12 months. The same economic struggles continued in 2009 and the club let its manager and stars go to big name teams to rescue the program. This led to a bottom of the table finish in 2009-10 but the club was still valuable and consistent enough that they were chosen to be one of eight founding teams of FA WSL.
In 2006-07 Bristol Academy was considered the top contender for the title. While they were in first place in November, they finished the season in 4th place.
When the FA WSL started in 2009, Bristol Academy was accepted to be one of the select teams to join the league. With the new top-tier move came a new and permanent purpose related home ground in South Gloucestershire and Stroud College’s Stoke Gifford Stadium.
In 2013, the club authorized a sponsorship with Bristol City FC and changed their jerseys to match the affiliated team. 3 years later the name of the team was changed to its current name Bristol City Women’s Football Club.
In the 2016, season Bristol City Women completed the season in 2nd place and guaranteed their promotion from FA WSL 2 and started the 2017 season in FA WSL1. They finished as runners up in the league in 2013 and have not reached that height since.
The team currently sits in 6th place in the top flight of the English women’s football league.
Current Squad & Staff
The team has a roster of 22 players with a diverse list of players from 8 countries. The top forward for the team is Juliette Kemppi from Iceland. Goalie Sophie Baggaley is one of the many young players from England. Loren Dykes the defender serves as the vice-captain of the team.
The current Chairman is Simon Arnold, and the Manager is Tanya Oxtoby who was given the job in July 2018. She was upgraded to the position from an assistant job with Birmingham City W.F.C.