Birmingham City W.F.C.

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Birmingham City Women F.C.
Badge of Birmingham City: a line-drawn globe above a football, with ribbon carrying the club name and date of foundation
Full nameBirmingham City Women Football Club
Founded1968; 54 years ago (1968)
GroundSt Andrew's
Capacity29,409[1]
DirectorEdward Zheng
General managerSarah Westwood
Head CoachDarren Carter[2]
LeagueWomen's Championship
2021–22FA WSL, 12th of 12 (relegated)
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Birmingham City Women F.C. is an English women's football club affiliated with Birmingham City F.C. As founding members of the FA Women's Super League in 2011, the team currently plays in the second-highest division of women's football in England. The team plays their home games at St Andrew's, the home of Birmingham City F.C.

History[edit]

The club was formed in 1968 by a group of female fans who played local friendly matches until 1970. They joined the Heart of England League in 1970, and played in the league until 1973 when it underwent a major restructure and become known as the West Midland Regional League in 1974. The club were successful during this period, winning these leagues five times during the entire 1970s and 1980s (1971–72, 1974–75, 1976–77, 1987–88, 1988–89), amongst other trophies. They reached the semi-final of the Women's FA Cup in 1974 and 1988.[3]

The club ran into difficult times during the 1990s, with many staff and player changes. In an effort to regain stability they created an academy of young players, many who eventually played for the senior team.

In 1998 Birmingham City were elevated to the newly created Midland Combination League and in their first season won the league, gaining automatic promotion into the FA Women's Premier League Northern Division. After two seasons, Birmingham were promoted to the top flight of women's football in England, joining the FA Women's Premier League National Division in 2002. Also in 2001–02 Birmingham upset Doncaster Belles 4–3 in the FA Women's Premier League Cup semi-final.[4] In the final at Adams Park, Wycombe, Birmingham were thrashed 7–1 by full-time professional Fulham Ladies.[5]

In March 2003, local sports reporter Gary Newbon criticised women's football and bet the club £500 that they could not attract 500 supporters to their upcoming match against Doncaster Belles. Humiliated Newbon lost his bet.[6] The academy had begun to produce players for the first team at this point, and Laura Bassett became the first Birmingham City Ladies player, from the academy or otherwise, to appear for England at full international level.

The club's high-profile manager of the time, Marcus Bignot, signed big name players including Rachel Yankey and Alex Scott for the 2004–05 season and Birmingham finished fourth. The club ran into financial problems when Karren Brady of Birmingham City's men reneged on a letter of intent to provide funding.[7][8] The female club had to let major players go before the start of the 2005–06 season, which they finished in sixth position. They were only able to continue after a player's parent donated £10,000.[9]

Birmingham against Bristol Academy, 2006

Also in 2005, the club's junior sides joined the newly formed Centre of Excellence league in the Central Warwickshire area. Birmingham won their eighth consecutive Birmingham FA County Cup in 2008 before a number of established players either retired from the game or moved on to other clubs. They began to rebuild and finished 2008–09 in fifth place (losing out on fourth place only through inferior goal difference). Also in 2005 the club left Redditch United's The Valley Stadium for Stratford Town's DCS Stadium.

FA WSL era[edit]

In March 2010 the club was announced as a founder member of the FA WSL. The club's successful application was underwritten by Birmingham City's controversial new owner Carson Yeung.[9] In December 2010, Birmingham City announced the signing of several international players to their WSL squad.[10] In June 2011 the Centre of Excellence's future was secured with the allocation of a new FA licence for 2011–12 season onwards; which realigned the current development pathway for women's football in England.

The club became inaugural members of the newly formed FA WSL in 2011 and came close to winning it at the first attempt, leading for most of the campaign before being overhauled by Arsenal. They also reached the Continental Cup Final but once again found Arsenal in the way at Burton Albion F.C. The season was notable for the goalscoring exploits of Rachel Williams who scored the league's first ever hat-trick, finished as leading scorer and won the FA Players' Player of the Year Award.

Due to their 2nd-place finish in the 2011 FA WSL Birmingham qualified for a place in the 2012–13 UEFA Women's Champions League round of 32 for the first time in their history. Drawn against Italians Bardolino Verona, Birmingham won the first leg 2–0 but lost 3–0 at the Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi, after extra time, to exit the competition at the first hurdle.[11]

In May 2012 the club won their first FA Women's Cup, beating Chelsea on penalties in the final at Ashton Gate in Bristol.[12] Also in 2012, for the second consecutive year, the club finished 2nd in the FA WSL and were runners-up in the Continental Cup Final, both to Arsenal. The 2nd-place finish in the league qualified Birmingham for the 2013–14 UEFA Women's Champions League round of 32.[13]

Birmingham defeated PK-35 Vantaa and Zorky Krasnogorsk to qualify for an all-English quarter-final against Arsenal. A 1–0 win at home and a 2–0 win in London sent the club through to a semi-final against Tyresö FF. Birmingham manager David Parker described big-spending Tyresö as female "galácticos" before the tie, which the Swedes won 3–0 on aggregate.[14] The club underwent another stadium change in 2014, leaving the DCS Stadium for Solihull Moors' The Autotech Stadium.[15]

Integration with men's side[edit]

The club became fully integrated into men's side Birmingham City Football Club in November 2016.[16] Prior to the 2017 FA WSL Spring Series, long-time manager David Parker resigned.[17] The club's Regional Talent Club technical director Marc Skinner was promoted to first-team manager shortly thereafter.[18]

The Blues finished 5th in the 2017/2018 season, narrowly missing out on 4th on the final day of the season with a draw against Reading, with Ellen White finishing as highest scorer in the league with 15 goals. Freda Ayisi, Coral-Jade Haines and Maddy Cusack were released shortly after.

In July 2018, the club rebranded as Birmingham City Women F.C.[19] Marc Skinner left in January 2019, to take the head coach job at American National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) club Orlando Pride. He was replaced by Marta Tejedor.

On 3 March 2020, the club parted ways with manager Marta Tejedor by mutual consent and promoted Charlie Baxter to the position of interim head coach.[20] The club finished the 2019—2020 season second from bottom, having lost major stars like Ellen White and Hayley Ladd, as well as upcoming talent like Aoife Mannion to other WSL clubs in the summer transfer window. On 13 August 2020, Birmingham appointed former Sheffield United manager Carla Ward as the new permanent head coach.[21]

In April 2021, the clubs players formally issued a list of complaints to the club's board, stating that the club was "preventing us from performing our jobs to the best of our ability."[22]

Former Glasgow City boss Scott Booth was appointed as Head Coach in July 2021, but a winless start to the season saw him lose his job in November. He was subsequently replaced by former Birmingham City midfielder Darren Carter, who became Interim Head Coach. Despite their best efforts, Birmingham were relegated from the Women's Super League with one game to spare, after a 6-0 defeat away to Manchester City. [23]

Kit[edit]

In 2013, a deal was signed with Italian kit manufacturer Legea, who also supplied North Korea, Iran and Zimbabwe.[24] In early 2014, the club announced that Sondico would be the kit supplier until the end of 2015.[25] On 7 March 2016 it was announced that Adidas was taking over as the club's kit supplier for the next four seasons.[26]

Honours[edit]

For a detailed international record see English women's football clubs in international competitions

FA Cup Winners Plaque

FA Women's Super League

  • Runners up: 2011, 2012

Women's FA Cup

  • Winners: 2011/12
  • Runners up: 2017

FA Women's League Cup

  • Runners up: 2011, 2012

FA Women's National League Cup

  • Runners up: 2001/02

Heart of England League

  • Champions: 1971/72

West Midland Regional League

  • Champions: 1974/75, 1976/77, 1987/88, 1988/89

Midland Combination Women's Football League

  • Champions: 1998/99

FA Women's National League North

  • Champions: 2001/02

First-team squad[edit]

As of 20 May 2022[27]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK England ENG Lucy Thomas
2 DF England ENG Martha Harris
3 DF Republic of Ireland IRL Harriet Scott
4 DF Republic of Ireland IRL Louise Quinn (captain)
6 DF England ENG Lily Simkin
7 FW England ENG Jade Pennock
8 MF Republic of Ireland IRL Jamie Finn
9 FW England ENG Libby Smith
10 MF Scotland SCO Christie Murray
11 FW England ENG Ashley Hodson (on loan from Liverpool)
12 MF England ENG Tara Bourne (on loan from Manchester United)
14 DF Jamaica JAM Siobhan Wilson
15 DF England ENG Gemma Lawley
No. Pos. Nation Player
16 MF England ENG Mollie Green
17 FW Republic of Ireland IRL Lucy Quinn
22 FW Republic of Ireland IRL Eleanor Ryan-Doyle
23 MF England ENG Charlie Devlin (on loan from Leicester City)
27 DF England ENG Abbi Jenner
28 GK England ENG Fran Stenson (on loan from Arsenal)
29 GK England ENG Lucy Jones
31 GK England ENG Libby Hart
32 DF England ENG Abi Cowie
36 FW England ENG Louanne Worsey
37 DF Wales WAL Taylor Reynolds
38 DF Northern Ireland NIR Mikayla Wildgoose
40 FW England ENG Delphi Cole

Club officials[edit]

As of 29 November 2021[28][29]

Front office

  • General manager: Sarah Westwood
  • Operations coordinator: Kyle Adams

Coaching staff

  • Head coach: Darren Carter[2]
  • Assistant head coach: Jo Potter
  • Lead Goalkeeping coach: Tony Elliott
  • Lead physiotherapist: David Merlin
  • Sports rehabilitator: Beth Watkins
  • Performance Analyst: Thomas Carter
  • Head of Sports Science: Lewis Gordon

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "New to the ground?". Birmingham City F.C. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Birmingham City: Darren Carter named women's interim boss". BBC Sport. 21 November 2021. Retrieved 21 November 2021.
  3. ^ "Get to know Birmingham City Ladies". FA WSL. 14 March 2011. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  4. ^ Leighton, Tony (13 January 2002). "Birmingham shock Doncaster". BBC Sport. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
  5. ^ Hall, Max (8 April 2002). "Football: Blues no match for full-time Fulham". The Birmingham Post. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  6. ^ "Birmingham City rally to beat Gary Newbon challenge". femaleSOCCER.net. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  7. ^ Turner, Georgina (4 August 2005). "That's no way to treat the ladies". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  8. ^ Leighton, Tony (25 July 2005). "Birmingham Ladies may exit league". BBC Sport. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  9. ^ a b Tony Leighton (8 November 2009). "New Birmingham City owners pledge to support women's team". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 December 2010.
  10. ^ "Exciting Blues news!". She Kicks. 20 December 2010. Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 20 December 2010.
  11. ^ Leighton, Tony (3 October 2012). "Birmingham City out of Women's Champions League". BBC Sport. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
  12. ^ Nisbet, John (27 May 2012). "Shoot-out has unhappy ending for Chelsea Ladies". The Independent. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
  13. ^ "Blues Ladies 1 Arsenal Ladies 1". Birmingham City Ladies. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  14. ^ "Women's football: Birmingham Ladies braced for biggest test". Sky Sports. 24 April 2014. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
  15. ^ "Bolton Wanderers v Blues ticket details". Archived from the original on 13 April 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  16. ^ "Birmingham City Ladies joins Blues family". Birmingham City Ladies. 25 November 2016. Archived from the original on 20 February 2019. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  17. ^ "David Parker resigns as Birmingham City Ladies Manager". Birmingham City Ladies. 12 December 2016. Archived from the original on 18 December 2016. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  18. ^ "Marc Skinner Appointed Manager". Birmingham City Ladies. 14 December 2016. Archived from the original on 20 January 2019. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  19. ^ "Ladies to be renamed Birmingham City Women". Birmingham City F.C. 3 July 2018. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  20. ^ "CLUB STATEMENT - MARTA TEJEDOR". Birmingham City FC. 3 March 2020. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  21. ^ "Ward named new Birmingham manager". BBC Sport. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  22. ^ Garry, Tom (5 April 2021). "Special WSL report: Birmingham Women hit out at club for 'preventing us doing our jobs'". The Telegraph.
  23. ^ Percival, Holly (4 May 2022). "Birmingham City relegated from WSL for first time in club's history". The Athletic.
  24. ^ "Business is business, says North Korea's sponsor". The Sydney Morning Herald. 10 June 2010. Retrieved 24 March 2013.
  25. ^ "Revealed - 2014 kits!". 24 February 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  26. ^ "Adidas Is Blues Ladies New Kit Supplier". Birmingham City Ladies. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  27. ^ "Women's Team". Birmingham City Football Club. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  28. ^ "Women's contact details". Birmingham City FC. Retrieved 21 November 2021.
  29. ^ "Women's team". Birmingham City FC. Retrieved 21 November 2021.

External links[edit]