Bristol City W.F.C.

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Bristol City WFC logo.png
Full name Bristol City Women's Football Club
Nickname(s) The Vixens
Founded 1998; 20 years ago (1998) as Bristol Rovers W.F.C.
Ground Stoke Gifford Stadium
South Gloucestershire and Stroud College, Filton
Ground Capacity 1,500
Chairman Simon Arnold
Manager Willie Kirk
League FA WSL 1
2016 2nd in WSL 2 (promoted)
Website Club website

Bristol City Women's Football Club is a women's association football team from the city of Bristol, who compete in FA WSL 1, the highest division of women's football in England. Formed in 1998 as Bristol Rovers W.F.C., they were renamed Bristol Academy W.F.C. in 2005 following increased involvement of the Bristol Academy of Sport, based at Filton College (now part of South Gloucestershire and Stroud College). A second change of name, this time to Bristol City was approved by the FA Women's Football Board in time for the 2016 WSL season. They play their home games at the purpose built Stoke Gifford Stadium. Bristol City Women won promotion to FA WSL 1 in 2016.


The team was founded in 1998, following a merger between the Bristol Rovers girls' teams and Welsh side Cable-Tel L.F.C.. This merger came about as Bristol Rovers only had girls teams up to the under 16 age group level, so when girls reached the age of 16 they were forced to leave the club. The merger with Cable-Tel meant that Bristol Rovers had a senior squad, and more importantly it gave them a place in the South West Combination league, only two levels below the top flight of women's football in England. This new merged team took the name Bristol Rovers W.F.C. and played their home games at The Beeches, the training ground and administrative offices of Bristol Rovers, located in Brislington.

Bristol Academy playing Birmingham City in 2006

The team, like their male counterparts at Bristol Rovers, were somewhat nomadic in their early days, having played home matches at The Beeches, Lodge Road (home of Yate Town), Cossham Street (Mangotsfield United), the Memorial Stadium (Bristol Rovers), Fry's Sports Ground in Keynsham, The Lawns (Cribbs F.C.),[1] The Hand Stadium (Clevedon Town), Lakeview (Bishop Sutton), and Oaklands Park (Almondsbury Town).[2] They finally acquired their own purpose-built home ground, Stoke Gifford Stadium, on land owned by Filton College (now South Gloucestershire and Stroud College) in time for the inaugural FA WSL season in 2011. Since then, all of their home games have been played there, with the exception of UEFA Women's Champions League matches, which have been held at Ashton Gate.[3]

The name of the club was changed to Bristol Academy at the beginning of the 2005–06 season to reflect the increased involvement of the Bristol Academy of Sport with the club. The team continued to play in the blue and white quarters of Bristol Rovers however, and also retained the nickname The Gas Girls, an acknowledgement of Rovers' unofficial nickname of The Gas.[4] Bristol Rovers, now in the bottom division of The Football League, found themselves unable to continue financing a women's team in 2006 and withdrew funding. Bristol Academy of Sport agreed to bankroll the team for 12 months, but there were serious doubts during the 2006–07 season that the club would survive beyond the summer.[5]

Logo of Bristol Academy Women's Football Club

In summer 2009 the club had a funding crisis. Manager Gary Green was sacked, Corinne Yorston left for Arsenal, Stef Curtis for Chelsea and Gwennan Harries for Everton.[6] Without their star players the team finished bottom of the table in 2009–10.

The Club were one of eight founding teams in the FA WSL in April 2011, when they moved into a brand new stadium at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College's Stoke Gifford Campus.[7]

In 2013 the club signed a sponsorship agreement with Bristol City FC and changed their home kit from blue to red,[8] and three years later the club was renamed Bristol City Women's Football Club.[9]

League history[edit]

Bristol Academy at home to Arsenal Ladies, May 2013

It took just two seasons to gain promotion to the FA Women's Premier League Southern Division, when the club won the South West Combination in the 2000–01 season under the management of Dave Bell. After this Dave Bell left the club to join the academy set-up at Manchester United, and was replaced by Tony Ricketts.

Tony Ricketts also achieved league success, with the team winning the Southern Division in the 2002–03 season and earning promotion to the FA Women's Premier League National Division. The first season in the top-flight was a struggle, with the team narrowly avoiding relegation. However Bristol Academy established themselves in the National Division with two fifth-place finishes over the next two seasons.

In the 2006–2007 season, they began as top contenders for the title, having reached the top spot in November (though defending champions Arsenal L.F.C. kept postponing matches due to European Cup, League Cup and FA Cup commitments, which might have been a factor in Bristol's recent success). As Arsenal restarted its League matches, however, Bristol Academy slipped, hovering between the 4th and 8th places.

Bristol City Women finished 2nd in FA WSL 2 for the 2016 season and won promotion to FA WSL 1 for their 2017 campaign.

Bristol Academy has established itself as one of the few top contenders, alongside Leeds United, which has never won the League before.

Cup history[edit]

Bristol City away against London Bees, April 2016

In the short history of the team they have reached the semi-final of the FA Women's Cup five times. The first was in the 2000–01 season when they were still playing their league football in the South West Combination, playing in front of a club record crowd of over 3000 at the Memorial Stadium against Arsenal L.F.C.. The match ended in a 3–0 defeat. Three more unsuccessful semi-final matches were to follow in this competition, against Fulham L.F.C. in 2002–03, Charlton Athletic L.F.C. in the 2004–05 season and Arsenal again providing the opposition in 2006–07.

In 2011 the club reached the final of the FA Cup after a 3–0 semi-final win over Liverpool. Bristol were beaten 2–0 by Arsenal in the final, before 13,885 fans at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.[10] In 2013 the club reached its second FA Cup final after a 2–0 semi-final win over Lincoln Ladies. Bristol were again beaten by Arsenal 3–0 in the final at the Keepmoat Stadium in Doncaster.

The team dominated the Gloucestershire FA Women's Challenge Cup in their early days, winning the trophy eight times in their first nine seasons. The only failure to win the competition came in the 2003–04 season when they were beaten in the final by the original Bristol City W.F.C., their first ever defeat to their cross-city rivals. Following the 2006–07 win the first team stopped competing in the tournament, although their junior teams continued taking part.

UEFA competitions[edit]

Because of the new WSL, England's UEFA Women's Champions League places were allocated to the FA Cup finalists as a one time exception. Thus Bristol won a place in the 2011–12 UEFA Women's Champions League round of 32.[11] They started in the round of 32 and were drawn against Russian side Energiya Voronezh and drew their home game 1–1 but lost the return leg in Russia 2–4 and didn't advance.[12][13]

Season by season[edit]

Season League Position FA Cup League CupA Other
Bristol Rovers W.F.C.
1998–99 South West Combination 2nd Gloucestershire Cup winners
1999–00 South West Combination 2nd Gloucestershire Cup winners
2000–01 South West Combination 1st
Semi-final Gloucestershire Cup winners
2001–02 Premier League Southern Division 2nd of 12 Fourth round First round Gloucestershire Cup winners
2002–03 Premier League Southern Division 1st of 11
Semi-final Quarter-final Gloucestershire Cup winners
2003–04 Premier League National Division 8th of 10 Semi-final Semi-final
2004–05 Premier League National Division 5th of 10 Semi-final Quarter-final Gloucestershire Cup winners
Bristol Academy W.F.C.
2005–06 Premier League National Division 5th of 10 Quarter-final Quarter-final Gloucestershire Cup winners
2006–07 Premier League National Division 4th of 12 Semi-final Second round Gloucestershire Cup winners
2007–08 Premier League National Division 4th of 12 Fourth round Third round
2008–09 Premier League National Division 8th of 12 Quarter-final Second round
2009–10 Premier League National Division 12th of 12 Fourth round Quarter-final Granted WSL licence[14]
2011 Women's Super League 5th of 8 Runners-up First round 2011–12 Champions League: First round
2012 Women's Super League 4th of 8 Semi-final Semi-final
2013 Women's Super League 2nd of 8 Runners-up Group stage
2014 WSL 1 7th of 8 Fifth round Group stage 2014–15 Champions League: Quarter-final
2015 WSL 1 8th of 8
Fifth round Quarter-final
Bristol City W.F.C.
2016 WSL 2 2nd of 10
Fourth round First round
2017 WSL 1 8th of 9 Sixth round N/AB
2017–18 WSL 1 In progress Fourth round Quarter-final

^A League cup column shows results in the FA Women's Premier League Cup (2001–2010) and the FA WSL Cup (2011–present)
^B There was no WSL Cup tournament during the 2017 WSL Spring Series


Coordinates: 51°30′45″N 2°33′25″W / 51.512622°N 2.55688°W / 51.512622; -2.55688

Stoke Gifford Stadium is located in Bristol
Stoke Gifford Stadium
Stoke Gifford Stadium
Stoke Gifford Stadium shown within Bristol and the UK

After having played at a number of different grounds, the team finally got their own home in 2011 when they moved into the newly built Stoke Gifford Stadium. It was the first stadium in the UK to be developed specifically for a women's football team,[15][16] and is built on South Gloucestershire and Stroud College's WISE campus.

Team honours[edit]

  • Gloucestershire FA Women's Challenge Cup: 8
1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2006–07


Current squad[edit]

As of 28 October 2017

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

No. Position Player
1 England GK Caitlin Leach
2 Wales DF Loren Dykes (vice-captain)
3 Scotland DF Frankie Brown
4 England DF Jasmine Matthews
5 Belgium DF Lorca van de Putte
6 Netherlands DF Danique Kerkdijk
7 Scotland MF Chloe Arthur
8 England FW Carla Humphrey
9 Belgium FW Yana Daniëls
10 England FW Olivia Fergusson
No. Position Player
11 England FW Lauren Hemp
12 England DF Florence Allen
14 England MF Aimee Palmer
16 Wales MF Charlie Estcourt (on loan from Reading)
18 England MF Poppy Wilson
19 England DF Ellie Wilson
20 Belgium MF Julie Biesmans
21 England MF Millie Turner (captain)
22 England GK Sophie Baggaley (on loan from Birmingham City)
England GK Estelle Randall

Out on loan[edit]

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

No. Position Player
6 England DF Corinne Yorston (at Oxford United until 30 June 2018)

Former players[edit]

For details of former players, see Category:Bristol Academy W.F.C. players.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bristol Rovers Women v Bristol City Women Matchday Programme. Bristol: Bristol Rovers Football Club. 23 October 2002. p. 3. 
  2. ^ "Football for Women". Midland Combination. Retrieved 14 September 2017. 
  3. ^ "Women's Champions League: Bristol reach quarter-finals". BBC Sport. 13 November 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  4. ^ "Bristol Academy Women's Football Club (BAWFC)". Bristol Academy Women’s Football Club. Archived from the original on 31 August 2008. Retrieved 1 January 2016. 
  5. ^ "In the Visitors Corner Bristol Academy WFC", Bristol City WFC matchday programme (vs Bristol Academy, FA Women's Cup), 2006–07: 13, 27 January 2007 
  6. ^ "Green loses Bristol Academy job amid funding worries". Bristol Evening Post. 8 July 2009. Retrieved 20 May 2010. 
  7. ^ "Lincoln Ladies FA Women's Super League bid success". BBC. 22 March 2010. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  8. ^ Baker, Adam (17 April 2013). "Free entry at Bristol Academy WFC". Bristol City FC. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  9. ^ "Bristol Academy to rebrand as Bristol City Women's FC". BBC Sport. 20 November 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2016. 
  10. ^ Tony Leighton (21 May 2011). "Women's FA Cup final: Arsenal 2–0 Bristol Academy". BBC Sport. Retrieved 21 May 2011. 
  11. ^ "Double first for Bristol". 17 April 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  12. ^ "Bristol denied by alte penalty". 30 September 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2011. 
  13. ^ "Bristol Bow out to Voroneh". 6 October 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2011. 
  14. ^ "FA announce Women's Super League clubs". UEFA. 22 March 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2016. 
  15. ^ "FA Women's Super League Tournament". Destination Bristol. Retrieved 5 April 2011. 
  16. ^ Tony Leighton (25 April 2010). "Bristol Academy builds Britain's first women's stadium". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 December 2010. 

External links[edit]