The Vixens played host to Brighton and Hove Albion in their first match of the Barclays‘ WSL season at Ashton Gate. They were unbeaten last season against the Seagulls (1W 1D), and continued that form with the scoreline ending 0-0.
Last year, Bristol finished sixth in their division - culminating the season with a total of 25 points. Only on the 2013-15 campaign did the Vixens pick up more Super League wins (10) than they did last year (7). They made it to the fifth round of the FA Cup but were not able to progress out of the group stages of the Continental Cup.
Bristol were strong in the Super League, and picked up four points over the course of the season against Manchester City, hindering the blues' chances of winning the division. However, they struggled with a lack of firepower and only scored 17 all season - the lowest total outside of the bottom three
The Vixens have signed two players from Birmingham City over the summer - striker Charlie Wellings and defender Meaghan Sargeant. Both featured over 50 times for the Blues, and Wellings netted 11 times over four years.
To help sure up the defence, Bristol have re-signed Jas Matthews who had been at the club for nine years and was the club's captain before she departed for Liverpool last season. Manager Tanya Oxtoby spoke to bcfc.co.uk about the signing:
“She’s a talented footballer and more importantly a great person to have back in Bristol colours. To have Jas back at the club where she learned her trade, after a short stint away, is testimony that what we are building here is heading the right direction, and I’m sure she’s going to huge impact for us this season.
“Jas knows the club inside out having come through our ranks over the last 9 years, and know the essence of what Bristol is about. She is such a popular figure with long standing players of the club, and couple that with her footballing talent and I know she will be able to hit the ground running.”
Player to watch
#10 - Yana Daniëls
27, the striker made her move to fellow WSL side Liverpool last year but has now returned to Bristol City
The Belgian only netted two last year, but has had much better goalscoring records for her previous clubs and for her national team. With Bristol losing top scorer Lucy Graham over ths summer, Daniels may be able to use this season to aid a side which struggled for goals in the previous campaign.
Signing for the vixens in the summer, she spoke about returning 'home' to the Bristol City website:
“I just love the club, it was the first club that I came to in England and straight away I felt like I was at home and it’s a great environment where you feel part of a family, said Daniels.
“I’m also really looking forward to working with Tanya. The team did well last year and I spoke with Julie Biesmans, and she said Tanya had a clear vision for the club as a player you know what she wants from you which is really important if you’re going to be successful on the pitch."
One for the future
#27 - Jess Woolley
On the fringes of the squad last season, Woolley could make an impact for the Vixens.
The young striker picked up four appearances in the WSL last year and is a product of Bristol City's Academy. With the gap left from the departures of Lucy Graham and Ella Rutherford, Woolley will find herself in contention for first-team football more often than in the past.
Only 18, she has already made a number of appearances for the Lionesses' youth sides, although is yet to score a goal.
With a good manager at the helm and off the back of a strong season last year, it does not seem as if Bristol City will be worrying about relegation this season.
A similar finish to last year could be inbound, but after losing some players and two strong sides being promoted, they may finish slightly lower in the league but still around the mid-table mark.