Newly promoted Bristol City Women have begun their preparations for the 2017 Spring Series by handing new deals to Georgia Evans and Caitlin Leach.
The Vixens who won promotion back into the Women's Super League 1, with one game to spare in November of last year, have begun putting the essential pieces together to ensure they are ready for their return to the top flight.
This process starts with the Spring Series which begins in April - the short round of fixtures aims to bridge the gap ahead of the WSL season which is currently in the process of transitioning from a summer to a winter league, to align with the rest of the footballing pyramid.
And, City's first point of call was to retain the services of fan favourite Georgia Evans. The Welsh midfielder, who is currently away on international duty at a training camp in South Wales, has penned a new six-month deal with the Vixens ahead of the Spring Series.
The 21-year-old signed her first professional contract with Bristol City Women, then Bristol Academy, in July 2015 after impressing manager Willie Kirk. Evans joined the club's centre of excellence programme at the age of 16 from Sporting Club Albion and progressed through the ranks to the 'Academy' first team in 2013.
Evans has represented Wales at senior, under-19, under-17 and under-16 levels during her young career and was part of the Bristol side to reach the UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-finals during the 2014-15 season - losing to eventual winners FFC Frankfurt who beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 in the final to claim their fourth Champions League title.
It's double delight for Bristol this afternoon as they also extend the contract of goalkeeper Caitlin Leach as she adds six months to her deal with the club.
The 19-year-old joined the Vixens in February of last year following expiration of her contract at Aston Villa Ladies, where she progressed though their centre of excellence and development set-up before making the first team squad.
Leach represents England at international level and has had an impressive run-to-date - she was named in the UEFA squad of the tournament following her impressive displays at the Euro under-19's and was also selected to Mo Marley's England squad for U20 World Cup.
Manager Willie Kirk spoke to the Official Bristol City Ladies website regarding the signing commenting on how Leach "quickly proved how good she was" after originally signing on a non-contract basis.
"She played a huge part in the promotion winning season and who will ever forget the last minute penalty save away to Everton to secure promotion. I'm looking forward to working with her in WSL1 and seeing her continue to develop," said Kirk.
Bristol will open their Spring Series campaign against Reading at Ashton Gate on April 22 before heading to the Stoke Gifford Stadium to take on Arsenal, Chelsea and Current WSL 1 champions Manchester City.