Birmingham City Ladies Season Preview 2016: Can the Blues rediscover past glories?

Are David Parker's side good enough to reclaim their place in Europe?

Birmingham City Ladies Season Preview 2016: Can the Blues rediscover past glories?
Jo Potter will be key for the Blues this season. | Photo: The FA

Birmingham City Ladies will be looking to return back to the 'glory days' of a few seasons ago as they prepare to begin their 2016 FAWSL campaign.

The pedigree 

As one of the founding members of the inaugural FAWSL season five years ago, the Blues almost picked up silverware at their first attempt. After leading the way for most of the season, Arsenal eventually pipped them in the final weeks. The following year was to prove even more successful, as they won the FA Women's Cup for the first time and finished second once more, whilst also reaching the last 32 of the Champions League

Following a spot in the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2014, Birmingham City Ladies have failed to reach the same heights in the last two seasons. A third place finish in the league two years ago saw them miss out on Europe, whilst the fans at their Solihull base had little to cheer about when they finished sixth, with just seven goals from fourteen games, last season.

Key players

The experienced Jo Potter is in her third stint with the Blues and will be looking to lead them up the league table from the centre of midfield. Potter is always good for a goal at domestic level and has 21 England appearances to her name.

Potter's midfield partner in crime is Jade Moore, an England international with 16 appearances. The 25-year-old is full of energy and will provide the legs to support her teammate.

There will be nobody more hungry for success in the team and possibly the league than the adaptable Emily Westwood. The 31-year-old has never won a major trophy, but has finished runner-up in seven of the last ten seasons. Able to play in midfield or defence, the former England international was one of the first women to receive an FA central contract.

The gaffer 

David Parker is a local lad but learnt most of his coaching trade in the USA before returning to Birmingham. He has been involved with the club for seven years, working through the ranks to lead the Blues to those two second placed seasons and FA Women's Cup success.

The verdict

With a blend of youth and experience, Birmingham City Ladies have a squad capable of picking up points this season. They will find it hard to overturn the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal, whilst there is excitement building around their opening day opponents Liverpool. The Blues should be strong enough to avoid the drop and are likely be around mid-table come the end of the season.