Manchester City W.F.C.

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Manchester City Women
Manchester City FC badge.svg
Full nameManchester City Women's Football Club
Nickname(s)The Citizens, The Blues, City, Man City
FoundedNovember 1988; 32 years ago (1988-11)
GroundAcademy Stadium, Manchester
Capacity7,000 (5,000 seated)
Managing directorGavin Makel
Head coachGareth Taylor
LeagueFA WSL
2020–21FA WSL, 2nd of 12
WebsiteClub website
Current season
Active departments of
Manchester City F.C.
Football pictogram.svg Football pictogram.svg Football pictogram.svg
Mens Football Womens Football Academy
Simple Game.svg

Manchester City Women's Football Club (formerly Manchester City Ladies F.C.) are an English women's football club based in Manchester who play in the FA Women's Super League. They are affiliated with Manchester City F.C. who play in the Premier League.


Manchester City Ladies was formed in November 1988, the brainchild of Manchester City Community Officer Neil Mather - who would become the side's first manager - plus several others involved in the club's community scheme.[1] Their first match was a friendly against Oldham on Boundary Park's artificial pitch, which City won by a score of 4–1.[2] Able to play only friendlies in their first season due to the late formation of the club, they joined the North West Women's Regional Football League the following year.[3] In the hopes of increasing publicity for women's football, the club's men's first team defender Colin Hendry was appointed Club President in March 1990 at the same time that the club was achieving plaudits for being one of the first league clubs in north-west England to create an affiliated women's side.[4]

Manchester City Ladies initially struggled with the strength of the opposition in their first league fixtures, having been immediately placed in the second division of four due to the strength of the club's name alone, but managed to improve results enough to finish mid-table.[5] In their second season they improved further and consequently achieved their first promotion.[6]

Although the club established themselves in the top division of the North West Women's Regional Football League, a lack of financial independence meant that the club's fortunes were tied to the men's side, resulting in a first relegation in 1996–97, the season after the men's team themselves were relegated from the Premier League. The club's support for their ladies' team was reduced, poor conditions at Platt Lane caused a series of fixture postponements and a shortage of players resulted in discussions on whether to merge the ladies team into Stockport County Ladies.[7]

Manchester City's relegation coincided with the reorganisation of the club spearheaded by Derek Heath, a Stockport County Ladies coach who had transferred to the Manchester club owing to Stockport County Ladies' reluctance to affiliate with the male side of the same name.[8] Heath brought in a raft of new players - many directly from Stockport - and created the first ever junior side when he arranged for Manchester City to adopt the Stockport under-14 team which his former club were no longer in a position to support.[9] Although Heath was to die after a brief battle with cancer barely a year after joining the club, Manchester City went unbeaten in the league throughout the 1997–98 season to win the second division title at the first time of asking - their first official silverware.[10]

Promotion in 1998 would start a period of success for Manchester City. After narrowly missing out on a second promotion in 1999,[11] they won the Premier Division in 1999–2000 and beat Barnsley in the promotion play-off to lift themselves above the North West Regional Football League for the first time.[12] The following season they won the Northern Combination and joined the WFA National League (renamed the Women's Premier League in 1992) Northern Division.[13] The step up to the WPL proved to be a large one, however, and the club narrowly avoided relegation on several occasions, never finishing outside of the bottom half for the first seven seasons. Only the appointment of Leigh Wood to the managerial position in 2007 was able to change the club from relegation battlers to title hopefuls.[14]

The English women's football pyramid was shaken up again in 2010, when the FA Women's Super League was created as a new top tier competition to sit over the top of the Women's Premier League. The FA announced that entry would be based on application rather than promotion, and that all members of the WPL National Division plus the top two finishers in the two regional leagues would be eligible to apply. Manchester City would miss out on the opportunity, instead finishing fourth,[15] but would seize their next opportunity to join the WSL some three seasons later when it was expanded into an 18-team, two-tiered league system - by which time the club had won the Northern Division and were contesting the National Division. To some surprise and controversy[16] on 26 April City Ladies were announced to have been given direct entry to the first division of the enlarged competition, at the expense of established team Doncaster Rovers Belles who were downgraded to the second division and were the only team to lose their top division status.[17]

In anticipation of their first WSL season the club began a complete renovation of the playing squad, signing a number of England internationals and promising players, including the likes of England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley,[18] 74-times capped midfielder Jill Scott[19] and new club captain Steph Houghton,[20] intending to make an impression on the league from the start. On 23 January 2014, the club was relaunched with a minor renaming to Manchester City Women's Football Club, ready for the new season.[21] Nick Cushing was appointed first team manager, with Leigh Wood moving to first team head coach.

Their first season of the professional football would see Manchester City finish fifth of eight teams, at the same time winning their first ever major trophy when they defeated Arsenal in the 2014 FA WSL Cup Final.[22] The following season would start poorly, but City Women returned from the summer break for the Women's World Cup a different side, with England's third-place finish seemingly rejuvenating both players and fans. Recording twelve wins in their remaining thirteen league games[23] the club entered a title challenge which they only lost on the final day of the season.[24] Although it brought them no silverware, their runners-up position was enough to secure them European football for the first time in their history.[24] As they embarked on their late-season surge, City also broke the league attendance record not once[25] but twice.[26]

The following seasons would see Manchester City become one of the dominant sides of English women's football, winning the league in 2016[27] and claiming two Women's FA Cup[28] and two further WSL Cups[29] by the end of the decade.

Nick Cushing left his role as manager to become assistant coach to Ronny Deila at MLS side New York City FC, with his last match being against Arsenal on 2 February 2020.[30]


Since the opening of Academy Stadium directly across the Ashton New Road and Alan Turing Way from the City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester City Women have been based at the training complex's 7,000 capacity stadium in tandem with the men's academy's senior side. The stadium has on three occasions since the middle of 2015 set an attendance record for a FA WSL league game.

Prior to moving into Academy Stadium, the women's side were based in the Manchester Regional Athletics Arena.

Affiliation With Manchester City F.C.[edit]

Throughout their history, MCWFC have had an affiliation with Manchester City, being established within its corporate structure in 1988. Replica kits of the men's team were still worn and the team was financially supported by the professional side, yet organisationally it managed itself for much of its existence. Established as part of City in the Community in 1988 with its development during the 1990s and beyond relying on the dedication of a number of Manchester City Ladies officials, individuals and volunteers.

Following an announcement on 28 August 2012, Manchester City Ladies' position as an official part of the club became formalised under a new agreement. Consequently the women's side shares not only corporate links and resources with the male team but also their training facilities, as well as being included in the marketing and social media of the Premier League side.




Doubles and trebles[edit]

  • Trebles
    • 2000: North West Women's Regional League, North West Challenge Trophy and North West League Cup
  • Doubles
    • 2016: League and League Cup
    • 2019: FA Cup and League Cup

Season to season Since 2014[edit]

Season FA Women's Super League Women's FA Cup FA Women's League Cup UWCL Women's FA Community Shield Top scorer[31]
Pld W D L GF GA Pts Pos Name(s) Goal
2014 14 6 1 7 13 16 19 5th Quarter-final Champion N.Q N.Q
2015 14 9 3 2 25 12 30 2nd Semi-final Quarter-final N.Q N.Q
2016 16 13 3 0 36 4 42 Champion Semi-finals Champion S.F N.Q
2017–18 18 12 2 4 51 17 38 2nd Semi-finals 2nd S.F N.Q
2018–19 20 14 5 1 53 17 47 2nd Champion Champion R32 N.Q
2019–20 16 13 1 2 39 9 39 2nd Champion Semi-finals R16 2nd
2020–21 22 17 4 1 65 13 55 2nd on going Quarter-finals Quarter-finals

Record in UEFA Women's Champions League[edit]

All results (home, away and aggregate) list Manchester City's goal tally first.

Season Round Opponents Home Away Aggregate
2016–17 Round of 32 Russia Zvezda Perm 2–0 f 4–0 6–0
Round of 16 Denmark Brøndby 1–0 f 1–1 2–1
Quarter-final Denmark Fortuna Hjørring 1–0 1–0 f 2–0
Semi-final France Olympique Lyon 1–3 f 1–0 2–3
2017–18 Round of 32 Austria St. Pölten 3–0 3–0 f 6–0
Round of 16 Norway Lillestrøm 2–1 5–0 f 7–1
Quarter-final Sweden Linköping 2–0 f 5–3 7–3
Semi-final France Olympique Lyon 0–0 f 0–1 0–1
2018–19 Round of 32 Spain Atlético Madrid 0–2 1–1 f 1–3
2019–20 Round of 32 Switzerland Lugano 4–0 7–1 f 11–1
Round of 16 Spain Atlético Madrid 1–1 f 1–2 2–3
2020–21 Round of 32 Sweden Kopparbergs/Göteborg 3–0 2–1 f 5–1
Round of 16 Italy Fiorentina 3–0f 5–0 8–0
Quarter-finals Spain Barcelona 2–1 0–3 f 2–4

f First leg


First-team squad[edit]

A photo of the first-team before a Champions League match against SKN St. Pölten on 4 October 2017
As of 20 August 2021.[32]

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 Karen Bardsley
3 DF England ENG Demi Stokes
5 DF England ENG Alex Greenwood
6 DF England ENG Steph Houghton (captain)
7 MF England ENG Laura Coombs
8 MF England ENG Jill Scott
9 FW England ENG Chloe Kelly
10 FW England ENG Georgia Stanway
11 FW Canada CAN Janine Beckie
12 MF Sweden SWE Filippa Angeldal
13 MF Australia AUS Hayley Raso
14 DF England ENG Esme Morgan
No. Pos. Nation Player
15 FW England ENG Lauren Hemp
16 FW England ENG Jess Park
17 MF Spain ESP Vicky Losada
18 FW England ENG Ellen White
19 MF Scotland SCO Caroline Weir
20 DF England ENG Lucy Bronze
21 FW Jamaica JAM Khadija Shaw
24 MF England ENG Keira Walsh
26 GK England ENG Ellie Roebuck
30 MF England ENG Ruby Mace
33 DF Australia AUS Alanna Kennedy
34 GK France FRA Karima Benameur Taieb

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. Pos. Nation Player

Former players[edit]

For details of current and former players, see Category:Manchester City W.F.C. players.

Current technical staff[edit]

As of 14 October 2021[33]
Name Job title
Wales Gareth Taylor Head coach
Republic of Ireland Alan Mahon Assistant coach
England Chris Williams Assistant Coach
England James McCarron Head of Sports Science & Medicine
England Jermaine Lopia Performance Analyst



  1. ^ James 2019, p. 27.
  2. ^ James 2019, p. 32.
  3. ^ Mather, Neil (28 January 2014). "Guest Blog: Neil Mather on the original City Ladies". Manchester City F.C. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  4. ^ James 2019, p. 37.
  5. ^ James 2019, p. 62.
  6. ^ James 2019, p. 73.
  7. ^ James 2019, p. 78.
  8. ^ James 2019, p. 82.
  9. ^ James 2019, p. 81.
  10. ^ James 2019, p. 84.
  11. ^ James 2019, p. 85.
  12. ^ James 2019, p. 88.
  13. ^ James 2019, p. 126.
  14. ^ James 2019, p. 142-4.
  15. ^ James 2019, p. 144.
  16. ^ "Women's football: Doncaster Belles demotion 'scandalous'". BBC Sport. 26 May 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
  17. ^ "Manchester City to compete in WSL top tier after restructure". BBC Sport. 26 April 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
  18. ^ "Karen Bardsley: Manchester City Ladies sign England goalkeeper". British Broadcasting Corporation. 22 November 2013. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  19. ^ "Jill Scott: England midfielder joins Manchester City". BBC Sport. 15 November 2013. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  20. ^ "Steph Houghton signs for City". 5 December 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
  21. ^ "Manchester City Women's Football Club re-launched". 23 January 2014. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  22. ^ "Continental Cup: Manchester City beat Arsenal to win first trophy". BBC Sport. 16 October 2014. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  23. ^ "City 6 Bristol Academy 1". 27 September 2015. Archived from the original on 1 October 2015. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  24. ^ a b "WSL 1: Manchester City Women 2–1 Notts County Ladies". BBC Sport. 4 October 2015. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  25. ^ "FA WSL breaks attendance records after England's World Cup heroics". Sky Sports. 13 July 2015. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  26. ^ "Christiansen ecstatic with 'exceptional year'". FA WSL. 4 October 2015. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  27. ^ Leighton, Tony. "Manchester City seal Women's Super League title with a 2-0 win over Chelsea". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  28. ^ "Manchester City Women 3 – 0 West Ham United Women". BBC Sport. 4 May 2019. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  29. ^ "Women's Continental League Cup final: Arsenal 0-0 Manchester City (2-4 pens)". BBC Sport. 23 February 2019. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  30. ^ "New York City FC Names Nick Cushing as Assistant Coach". 9 January 2020. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  31. ^ All goals scored in FA Women's Super League, including playoff games
  32. ^ "Team". Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  33. ^ "GARETH TAYLOR APPOINTED MANCHESTER CITY WOMEN HEAD COACH". Manchester City FC. 28 May 2020. Retrieved 31 May 2020.
  34. ^ "Man City 1 Man United 0". 7 September 2019. Retrieved 7 September 2019.

External links[edit]