Bristol City W.F.C.
|Full name||Bristol City Women's Football Club|
|Founded||1998 as Bristol Rovers W.F.C.|
|Ground||Stoke Gifford Stadium
South Gloucestershire and Stroud College, Filton
|League||FA WSL 2|
|2015||8th in WSL 1 (relegated)|
|Website||Club home page|
Bristol City Women's Football Club is a women's association football team from the city of Bristol, who compete in FA WSL 2, the second 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.
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.
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.), The Hand Stadium (Clevedon Town), Lakeview (Bishop Sutton), and Oaklands Park (Almondsbury Town). 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.
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. 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.
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. Without their star players the team finished bottom of the table in 2009–10.
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 Academy has established itself as one of the few top contenders, alongside Leeds United, which has never won the League before.
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. 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.
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. 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.
Season by season
|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|
|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
|Bristol City W.F.C.|
|2016||WSL 2||Fourth round|
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, and is built on South Gloucestershire and Stroud College's WISE campus.
- Gloucestershire FA Women's Challenge Cup: 8
- 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2006–07
The is a list of the players who have been confirmed as having signed to play for Bristol City ahead of the 2016 FA WSL 2 season.
- As of 19 February 2016
Where a player has not declared an international allegiance, nation is determined by place of birth.
For further details of former players, see Category:Bristol Academy W.F.C. players.
- List of women's association football clubs in England and Wales
- Women's football in England
- List of women's association football clubs
- Bristol Rovers Women v Bristol City Women Matchday Programme. Bristol: Bristol Rovers Football Club. 23 October 2002. p. 3.
- Bristol Academy v Cardiff City, 9 November 2006 from bristolrovers.co.uk. Retrieved 10 November 2006
- "Women's Champions League: Bristol reach quarter-finals". BBC Sport. 13 November 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
- "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.
- "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
- "Green loses Bristol Academy job amid funding worries". Bristol Evening Post. 8 July 2009. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
- "Lincoln Ladies FA Women's Super League bid success". BBC. 22 March 2010. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
- Baker, Adam (17 April 2013). "Free entry at Bristol Academy WFC". Bristol City FC. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
- "Bristol Academy to rebrand as Bristol City Women's FC". BBC Sport. 20 November 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
- Tony Leighton (21 May 2011). "Women's FA Cup final: Arsenal 2–0 Bristol Academy". BBC Sport. Retrieved 21 May 2011.
- "Double first for Bristol". shekicks.net. 17 April 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
- "Bristol denied by alte penalty". shekicks.net. 30 September 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
- "Bristol Bow out to Voroneh". shekicks.net. 6 October 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
- "FA announce Women's Super League clubs". UEFA. 22 March 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
- "FA Women's Super League Tournament". visitbristol.co.uk. Destination Bristol. Retrieved 5 April 2011.
- Tony Leighton (25 April 2010). "Bristol Academy builds Britain's first women's stadium". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
- "The Team". Bristol City WFC. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
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