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Bristol Academy WFC

Another team earning a spot in the FA Women’s Super League is Bristol Academy. In 1998, this team was created when the Bristol Rovers and the Welsh Cable-Tel LFC joined forces. The team was originally called the Bristol Rovers WFC. The new combination of player talent earned the team a spot in the South West Combination League. It was not until 2005 that the official name of the team was changed to Bristol Academy, a reference to their primary supporter, the Bristol Academy of Sport. Having played on a number of fields over the years (e.g., The Beeches, Fry’s Sports Ground in Keymsham, Bishop Sutton, Almondsburg Town’s Oaklands Park, etc.), in 2011 the team looks forward to playing at their own stadium at Filton College’s Stoke Gifford Campus.

The successful team has seen a couple of managers come and go in recent years. Under the management of Dave Bell in the 2000/2001 season, the Bristol Academy won the South West Combination and secured itself a spot in FA Women’s Premier League Southern Division. The team earned another promotion in the 2002/2003 season with new manager, Tony Ricketts; under his guidance, the team advanced to the FA Women’s Premier League National Division. After a somewhat rocky start within this Division, the Bristol Academy made a comeback and has continued to hold its own in competitions. Although they showed great promise and many thought they were sure to clinch the League title in the 2006/2007 season, Arsenal LFC made a comeback and knocked Bristol out of top contention.

Despite securing a place in the 2011 FA Women’s Super League, 2009 was not, overall, a great year for the Bristol Academy. Unfortunately, the team ranked quit low due to upheaval within the organization. The team lost several key players to other teams including Corinne Yorston, Stef Curtis and Gwennan Harries, as well as their current manager, Gary Green. Current notable players who represented the 2009/2010 team include: Corinne Yorston (team captain), Amanda Blakely, and Jemma Rose.