Video: Kirk Reflects On Promotion Winning Season
Posted: Monday, November 14th 2016
Tuesday, January 10th 2017
City Women to Spring Series opener at Ashton Gate on Saturday, April 22nd (KO 6pm).
The Vixens won promotion back to Women’s Super League 1 with a game to spare in November last year and are now preparing for the start of the Spring Series in April.
The Spring Series set to bridge the gap between the WSL’s transition from a summer league to a traditional winter league.
Now in WSL1, Bristol City Women will open their campaign against Reading at Ashton Gate on Saturday, April 22nd (KO 6pm) before taking on Arsenal, Chelsea and current league champions Man City at the Stoke Gifford Stadium.
The Vixens will also come up against former teammates when they face Liverpool at home, with Sophie Ingle, Tash Harding and Caroline Weir now playing for the opposition.
On the road, the South West rivalry will re-ignite when City Women come up against fellow promotion winners Yeovil followed by away trips to Sunderland, Birmingham and Notts County.
“Now that the fixtures are released, it becomes very real and exciting,” said City Women’s head coach Willie Kirk.
“The big clubs we will come up against are the challenges that we want to face every week, and the reason that we worked so hard last year to get back to WSL1.
“The first game at Ashton Gate will add that little bit more prestige to the game and the girls are really looking forward to playing in front of, hopefully, a very large and enthusiastic Bristol crowd.
“The girls are a bubbly bunch anyway, but as soon as you start talking about facing the likes of Man City or Chelsea, or playing against Kim Little or Fara Williams you can feel the excitement building throughout the squad.”
The new series will see each team play each other once with a total of nine games to be played throughout the whole season. Each team will play either four or five games at home, with any other remaining games to be played away from home.
FA director of football participation and development Kelly Simmons said: “When it was decided to move The FA WSL to traditional football calendar, we knew it was crucial to find a way to give clubs, players and supporters a competition that provided quality matches.
“The clubs have worked hard to build their squads and establish fanbases and the Spring Series will allow them to keep developing on and off the pitch.
“It will also provide our international players with the competitive game-time that they need before heading to the Euros in July.
“It's set to be an exciting few months for the domestic women's game with clubs competing for this one-off trophy and the SSE Women's FA Cup Final back at Wembley Stadium in May. It's important that we keep building this momentum ahead of the Euros and for the return of The FA WSL in September.”
Both WSL Leagues will operate as ‘closed’ leagues so there is no relegation or promotion.
The FA Cup will operate as usual, it will see the Vixens enter the fifth round and will kick start their FA Cup campaign in March.
The City Women squad is back in full training next week as preparations begin for the opening game of 2017.
“The girls have been doing individual winter programs over Christmas and New Year and a few have sporadically been at the training ground to do some individual work,” said Kirk.
“As a group, we return next Tuesday, with the first few weeks consisting of physiological testing, gym-work, conditioning on and off the pitch, and some light technical work.
“Following that, we then go into a six week cycle on the pitch which leads into the FA Cup fifth Round.”
Tickets will be available for all games online via Tickets.Bristol-Sport.co.uk shortly with season cards also on sale in the next few weeks.
Follow @BristolCityWFC on twitter to keep up-to-date on all the Bristol City Women action and news.
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