- Bristol Academy W.F.C.
Football club infobox
clubname = Bristol Academy
fullname = Bristol Academy Women's Football Club
nickname = The Gas Girls
founded = 1998 as Bristol Rovers W.F.C.
ground = Oaklands Park,
manager = flagicon|England Gary Green
chairman = "n/a"
league = FA Women's Premier League
season = 2006–07
position = Premier League, 4th
Bristol Academy Women's Football Club are an English
women's footballclub affiliated with Bristol Rovers F.C.and the Bristol Academy of Sport, based at Filton College.
The team as it is now was founded in 1998, following a
mergerbetween the Bristol Rovers girls' teams and Welsh side Cable-Tel L.F.C.. This merger came about because up until this point 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 now 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 location of the training ground and administrative offices of Bristol Rovers F.C.
The name of the club was changed to Bristol Academy at the beginning of the 2005-06 season to reflect the added
investmentand commitment of the Bristol Academy of Sport, although it was decided that the team should continue to wear the Bristol Rovers kit and keep using their existing nickname of The Gas Girls.
The team, like their male counterparts, have been somewhat
nomadicsince their formation, having played home matches at The Beeches, Yate Town F.C.'s Lodge Road ground, Mangotsfield United F.C.'s Cossham Street Stadium, Bristol Rovers' Memorial Stadium, Fry's Sports Ground in Keynsham, The Hand Stadium in Clevedon, Bishop Sutton. [ [http://www.bristolrovers.premiumtv.co.uk/page/News/NewsDetail/0,,10328~925890,00.html Bristol Academy v Cardiff City, 9 November 2006] from bristolrovers.co.uk. Retrieved 10 November 2006] and Almondsbury Town's Oaklands Park.
It took just two seasons to gain promotion to the
FA Women's Premier League Southern Division, when they won the South West Combination in the 2000-01 season with Dave Bell managing the team to this success. 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, but the team have firmly established themselves in the National Division with two fifth place finishes in the two seasons since then.
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.keeps 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 Rovers slipped, currently 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-finalof the FA Women's Cupfour 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, with 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.
The most successful competition for Bristol Rovers/Bristol Academy has been the Gloucestershire FA Women's Challenge Cup, which the team have only ever failed to win on one occasion since the team was formed. The single failure was during the 2003-04 season when Bristol Rovers were runners-up to
Bristol City W.F.C., in what was their first ever defeat to their cross-city rivals. On January 28, 2007in the FA Cup fourth round, Rovers beat City yet again, 3-1.
FA Women's Premier League Southern Division|1|2002-03
South West Combination Women's Football League|1|2000-01
*sport honours|Gloucestershire FA Women's Challenge Cup|8|1998-99, 1999-00, 2000-01, 2001-02, 2002-03, 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07
This is a list of players who have represented Bristol Academy at first team level during the 2007-08 season, and not necessarily a full squad list. Accurate after game played on 19 September 2007. [cite web |url=http://full-time.thefa.com/DisplayTeam.do?id=492731 |title=Bristol Academy WFC |work=Full Time |author=
The FA|accessdate=2007-11-04 |format=HTML]
* [http://www.bristolrovers.premiumtv.co.uk/page/WomensTeamIndex/0,,10328,00.html Bristol Academy page on the Bristol Rovers website]
* [http://www.bristolacademywfc.co.uk/index.php Bristol Academy page on the Filton College/Bristol Academy of Sport website]
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