Bristol City Women Club History
Bristol City Women's FC are known as the Vixens and play at the Stoke Gifford Stadium, the club boasts an effective player pathway with a Skills Centre and Regional Talent Club for girls aged 6-16, and a college programme for players aged 16-19 to train, play and study at SGS College. Graduates from the RTC and SGS college programme currently playing for Bristol City Women’s Super League team include: Grace McCatty, Jasmine Matthews, Georgia Evan, Katie Jones, Paige Sawyer, Emma Tustin, Lauren Hemp, Flo Allen, Estelle Randall, Poppy Wilson and Emily Syme.
Bristol City WFC has evolved through many changes, all of which allowed the development of the game in the greater Bristol area.
Bristol Rovers Women’s Football Club was formed as a senior club in 1998 through a merger with Cable-Tel LFC, in Wales, enabling the Club to enter the South West Women’s Combination. From winning the SW Combination in season 2000/01, with Dave Bell as Manager, the Club was promoted to the Southern Section of the FA Women’s Premier League. At that time it was only champions of the league that were being promoted to the National Division and the Gas Girls had to wait until summer 2003, with Tony Ricketts now at the helm, before successfully gaining a foothold with the elite. The first year within the National Division proved a struggle but season 2004/05, under the guidance of Gary Green, ended with the Gas girls finishing in their highest ever position, with only Arsenal, Charlton, Everton and Birmingham City being above them.
In 2005 Bristol Rovers Women’s FC became known as Bristol Academy WFC under a new partnership agreement with South Gloucestershire and Stroud College (previously Filton College).
By 2011, Bristol Academy WFC Limited was formed and won a licence to compete in the new FA Women’s Super League. This allowed the team to become semi-professional and an untested Mark Sampson stepped up from Head of the College Girls U18 Development Squad to first team manager. Mark was to remain in post until he left to take up the prestigious England Women’s Manager post in 2014.
In 2015 Willie Kirk was appointed as Manager, following a brief spell by Dave Edmondson. At the end of the 2015 season, following relegation to WSL2, the FA Women’s Super League management committee approved the name change for Bristol Academy Women’s Football Club to change to Bristol City Women’s Football Club. This will ensure football is secured in Bristol and the Club will be able to move to a fully professional club in due course.
In 2010 the club was successful in a bid to compete in the newly formed Women’s Super League. In their first season in the WSL in 2011, Manager at the time Mark Sampson’s Vixens finished 5th, but more memorably the Academy made it into the FA Women’s Cup Final where they played Arsenal at the Ricoh Arena in front of over 18,000 fans. In the 2012 season the Vixens went one better in the league finishing 4th, with another successful FA Women’s Cup run making it as far as the Semi-Finals. 2012 saw the Vixens compete in the Women’s Champions League for the first time where they were knocked out in the last 32 against Russian side FC Energy Voronezh.
In 2013, the team were once again Runners Up in the FA Cup, losing to old rivals Arsenal again 3-1 at Doncester’s Keepmoat Stadium and they were league runners up also, which bought them a place in the UCL for the second time.
The side performed well in the Women’s UEFA Champions League in 2013/14, the highlight being the defeat of the top Spanish side, Barcelona at Ashton gate which secured then a Quarter Final place and ranked the side 16th best in Europe before being knocked out by eventual winners FFC Frankfurt.
Following Mark Sampsons departure and the enormous budgets being spent on squads in the WSL, the club has struggled to emulate earlier successes on the field. Relegation from WSL1 followed in 2015 which has allowed a re-launch and a change of name to align the Club with our partners for a number of years, Bristol City FC.
The clubs all-time top goal scorer is Natalia Pablos with 22 goals in 37 matches from 2011-2013.
Our Supporters Club
The clubs loyal supporters are rewarded with membership to the Vixen’s supporters club for only £20 which includes exclusive opportunities such as an open training session, Q&A evening and an invite to the clubs awards evening. As well as this it allows travel to away games at £5 each and also a signed photo to keep.
The Supporters Club is currently under review ready for the 2017 mini season, more information to be released soon.