Anita Asante

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Anita Asante
Personal information
Full name Anita Amma Ankyewah Asante[1]
Date of birth (1985-04-27) 27 April 1985 (age 37)
Place of birth London, England
Height 1.67 m (5 ft 6 in)
Position(s) Centre back, defensive midfielder
Youth career
1998–2003 Arsenal
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003–2008 Arsenal
2008–2009 Chelsea 11 (0)
2009 Sky Blue FC 16 (0)
2010 Saint Louis Athletica 1 (0)
2010 Chicago Red Stars 6 (0)
2010 Washington Freedom 6 (0)
2011 Sky Blue FC 12 (0)
2012–2013 Göteborg 41 (9)
2013–2017 FC Rosengård 80 (2)
2018–2020 Chelsea 7 (0)
2020–2022 Aston Villa 35 (2)
International career
2004–2018 England 71 (2)
2012 Great Britain 4 (0)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 21:10, 24 July 2022 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 21:10, 24 July 2022 (UTC)

Anita Amma Ankyewah Asante (born 27 April 1985) is an English football coach and former defender or midfielder who is the first-team coach at Bristol City. Asante is of Ghanaian descent, the appellation "Amma" is of Akan origin, given to girls born on Saturday. She obtained 71[2] caps for the English national team and was selected in the Great Britain squad for the 2012 London Olympics.[3][4]

At club level, Asante has played for English clubs Arsenal, Chelsea[5] and Aston Villa, whilst also having played for Saint Louis Athletica, Chicago Red Stars, Washington Freedom and Sky Blue FC of the American Women's Professional Soccer (WPS). She also spent six seasons playing in Sweden, two with Göteborg and then four with FC Rosengård.


Asante studied politics and English BA at the Business School of Brunel University in London,[6] whilst also benefiting from the UK "Government's Talented Athletes Scholarship Scheme", which helps athletes in full-time education.[7] She started a PhD in the United States looking at the governorship of women's football[8] and plans to complete after her professional playing career ends.[citation needed]

Club career[edit]

Asante joined her first club Arsenal as a junior in 1998.[9] She became a senior player in 2003/2004 season.[7] Asante was part of the Arsenal team that won the quadruple in 2006/2007, collecting the UEFA Women's Cup, FA Women's National Premier League, FA Women's Cup and the FA Women's Premier League Cup.[10][11][12] Asante was part of the Arsenal team that made history by being the first team outside Germany or Scandinavia to win the UEFA Women's Cup.[13][14] Asante is reported to have played exceptionally well in the final.[15]

Asante playing for Arsenal

On 3 July 2008, it was announced that Asante along with teammate Lianne Sanderson had joined Chelsea Ladies. Upon signing Asante said:

"I want to compete with the likes of Arsenal and Everton and hopefully get to some finals, like the League Cup Final. But I also don't want to assume anything; it is going to take a lot of hard work as well as getting the girls together to seek that ambition. But it is such a great squad here at Chelsea, with lots of enthusiasm and lots of young players. We also know a lot of the younger players who were at Arsenal before and our England team mates, but there are so many other players who want to win things and will be up for it this season."

Arsenal manager Vic Akers publicly criticized the players after their departure: "You think you've the respect of players, and then they do that. It's a sorry state of affairs."[16]

In 2009 Asante joined New Jersey–based WPS franchise Sky Blue FC.[17] She helped the club win the inaugural WPS championship. On 6 May 2010 Asante was traded to the Saint Louis Athletica in return for India Trotter. When the Saint Louis Athletica folded on 27 May 2010, she was acquired by the Chicago Red Stars. She was subsequently traded to the Washington Freedom on 6 August 2010.[18]

In December 2010 Asante returned for a second spell at Sky Blue FC, after Jim Gabarra, her coach at Washington Freedom, took the reins at Sky Blue.[8] With the demise of WPS prior to the 2012 season, Asante signed a contract with Swedish club Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC. Her first match for Göteborg was back at Arsenal in the UEFA Women's Champions League quarter final, a 3–1 first leg defeat.[19] Asante played 41 league games for Göteborg over the two seasons, scoring nine goals.[20] She won the Swedish Cup and the Swedish Super Cup with KGFC, before she signed for national champions LdB FC Malmö in October 2013. Due to a foot injury, it was not expected that Asante could play in Malmö's looming Champions League fixture with holders VfL Wolfsburg.[21] Asante, won several titles at FC Rosengård (formerly known as LdB Malmö) including the Damallsvenskan league 2014, 2015, the Swedish Cup (Svenska Cupen) 2016 and the Swedish Super Cup (Svenska Supercupen) 2016, 2017 and runners up in 2015. Anita has reached the quarter finals of Champions League three seasons with FCR.[citation needed]

On 7 June 2020, she signed for newly-promoted club Aston Villa, ahead of their maiden WSL campaign.[22] Asante's first goal for her new club was the deciding goal in a 1–0 victory away to rivals Birmingham City.[23] On 26 April 2022, Asante announced her intention to retire from playing at the end of that season.[24] She was appointed first-team coach at FA Women's Championship club Bristol City in July 2022.[25]

International career[edit]


Asante played in the England Under 17 team. She also was a member and captain of the England Under 19s and played in the inaugural FIFA World Under 19 Championship in Canada in 2002. She won 11 international caps in all at this level.[26] She was in the first call up for the England Under 21s in 2004, a month after her senior international début.[27]

Asante made her senior international début as a substitute against Iceland in May 2004.[26] Her first full international was against Northern Ireland in March 2005.[26] She scored her first international goal in only her second full international which was against Norway in April 2005. This turned out to be the winning goal.[28] Asante was named in England's squad for Euro 2005.[29]

Asante played in the 2011 World Cup and made her 50th senior international appearance in England's 2–0 win over eventual champions Japan. Having been part of the English squad which reached the final of Euro 2009, Asante was confident of England's chances ahead of Euro 2013.[30] She was substituted at half time in England's 3–0 defeat to France which sealed a first round elimination.[31]

In 2015, the politically vocal Asante was "a glaring omission" from England's squad for the 2015 World Cup in Canada. She had been the only English player to sign a petition against the controversial artificial turf used at the tournament.[32] She criticised the head coach Mark Sampson for the manner in which he informed her of her non selection, and his unwillingness to enter into further correspondence on the matter.[33]

Incoming England head coach Phil Neville surprisingly recalled Asante in his first squad, for the 2018 SheBelieves Cup.[34] At the opening match of the tournament, a 4–1 win over France, Asante suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury and was substituted after 14 minutes.[35][36]

Great Britain Olympic[edit]

In June 2012 Asante was named in the 18-player Great Britain squad for the 2012 London Olympics.[37] She played in all four games as Great Britain were beaten 2–0 by Canada in the last eight.[38]

Outside of football[edit]

Asante is openly lesbian and is in a relationship with ITV News Sports reporter and presenter Beth Fisher.[39]

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list England's goal tally first[40]
Goal Date Venue Opponent Result Competition Scored
1 6 May 2005 Oakwell, Barnsley  Norway 1–0 Friendly 1
2 7 March 2014 GSZ Stadium, Larnaca, Cyprus  Finland 3–0 2014 Cyprus Cup 1


  • Outstanding Achievement Awards – 19 May 2006 - Presented by the Queen at Brunel University[41]
  • Player of the year – (2003/04)[7]
  • Sports Award – (Ghana Professional Awards 2004)[42][43]
  • Nationwide Player of the month – March 2006[44]


  1. ^ "FIFA Women's World Cup Germany 2011 – List of Players: England" (PDF). FIFA. 28 July 2014. p. 5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 November 2019. Retrieved 11 November 2021.
  2. ^ "Women's Player of the Year 2014 contender: Anita Asante". Football Association. 17 December 2014. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
  3. ^ "Anita Asante". Olympics. Retrieved 7 October 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ "Anita Asante". Amnesty International. Retrieved 7 October 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "Veteran Asante departs Chelsea Women". BBC Sport. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  6. ^ "Anita Asante: 'People say I'm an activist but I just believe I found my voice'". The Guardian. 3 November 2021. Retrieved 12 November 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ a b c "Brunel Students Competing in European Championship and Lions Tour". Brunel University. 2005. Archived from the original on 6 April 2007. Retrieved 9 May 2007.
  8. ^ a b Catherine Etoe (2 July 2011). "Anita Asante/Sky Blue FC/England". SheKicks. Archived from the original on 12 March 2017. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  9. ^ "18. Anita Asante". Official website. Arsenal FC. Archived from the original on 28 April 2007. Retrieved 9 May 2007.
  10. ^ Stuart Mawhinney (7 May 2007). "Arsenal clinch quadruple". FA Women's Cup. Football Association. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  11. ^ "Arsenal complete unique quadruple". UEFA. 7 May 2007. Archived from the original on 9 May 2007. Retrieved 9 May 2007.
  12. ^ "Arsenal Ladies Honours". Official website. Arsenal FC. Archived from the original on 10 February 2007. Retrieved 9 May 2007.
  13. ^ Chris Harris (29 April 2007). "Match Report". Official website. Arsenal FC. Archived from the original on 1 May 2007. Retrieved 9 May 2007.
  14. ^ "Spirited Arsenal outgun rivals". UEFA. Archived from the original on 6 March 2010. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  15. ^ Paul Saffer (23 April 2007). "Arsenal's Asante stands tall". Latest news. UEFA. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  16. ^ "Chelsea Ladies sign Arsenal pair". BBC Sport. 3 July 2008. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
  17. ^ Tony Leighton (8 February 2009). "Smith quits Arsenal for US league". BBC Sport.
  18. ^ "Washington Freedom acquire English defender Anita Asante, trade rights to Faith Ikidi". Potomac Soccer Wire. Archived from the original on 12 September 2012. Retrieved 8 August 2010.
  19. ^ Saffer, Paul (27 June 2012). "Harvey: Arsenal 'ground down' Göteborg". Retrieved 27 June 2012.
  20. ^ "Anita Asante". Swedish Football Association. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 25 October 2013.
  21. ^ "Asante agrees Malmö switch". 25 October 2013. Retrieved 25 October 2013.
  22. ^ "Anita Asante signs for Villa Women ✍️". Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  23. ^ "Asante header gives Villa derby win". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 April 2022.
  24. ^ "Anita Asante to retire at end of season". Aston Villa Football Club. 26 April 2022. Retrieved 26 April 2022.
  25. ^ "Anita Asante: Former England defender signs as Bristol City coach". BBC Sport. 19 July 2022. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  26. ^ a b c d "Anita Asante, Arsenal". England:Players and Coaches. Football Association. Archived from the original on 26 March 2006. Retrieved 9 May 2007.
  27. ^ "Powell names first ever England Under 21 Squad". Female Soccer. Retrieved 9 May 2007.
  28. ^ Tony Leighton (7 May 2005). "Anita nets winner". England:News and Features. Football Association. Retrieved 9 February 2014.[citation needed]
  29. ^ "England Squad Guide". BBC Sport. 3 June 2005. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
  30. ^ Kessel, Anna (6 June 2013). "England's women can go one step further and win at Euro 2013 in Sweden". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 25 October 2013.
  31. ^ Alistair Magowan (18 July 2013). "France 3 – 0 England". BBC Sport. Retrieved 25 October 2013.
  32. ^ Kessel, Anna (30 May 2015). "Biggest Women's World Cup to kick off in Canada amid surface tension". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  33. ^ Taylor, Daniel (23 August 2017). "England women's players fearful of speaking out, says Anita Asante". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  34. ^ Taylor, Louise (20 February 2018). "Phil Neville opens England door with surprise selection of Anita Asante". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  35. ^ Edwards, John (2 March 2018). "McManus: England debut means everything". Manchester City F.C. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  36. ^ "Anita Asante: England and Chelsea defender has knee surgery". BBC Sport. 9 March 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  37. ^ "Team GB women's squad for London 2012 announced". BBC Sport. 26 June 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
  38. ^ "Anita Asante". Yard Barker. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 25 October 2013.
  39. ^ "Anita Asante and Beth Fisher on relationships in women's sport". Sky Sports. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  40. ^ Karsdorp, Dirk (2018). The England Women's FC 1972–2018: The Lionesses – A Statistical Record. Soccer Books Ltd. ISBN 978-1-86223-391-1.
  41. ^ "The Queen visits Brunel University". Press release. Brunel University. 19 May 2006. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  42. ^ "Ghana's envoy to the UK wins Person of the Year Award". Press release. Ghana High Commission UK. 7 July 2004. Archived from the original on 14 August 2004. Retrieved 9 May 2007.
  43. ^ "Ghana Professional Awards (GPA) 2004". Voice of Africa Radio. Archived from the original on 27 January 2007. Retrieved 9 May 2007.
  44. ^ "Anita earns Award boost". Women's Premier League. Football Association. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 9 February 2014.

External links[edit]