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Dykes looks back on City Women’s stellar season

Bristol City Women Captain Loren Dykes reflects on a fantastic 2018/19 FA Women’s Super League season for her side. 

City Women currently sit sixth in the FAWSL table after an impressive year which has seen the West Country club accumulate a record number of points (25), wins (7) and clean sheets (6). 

Club captain, Dykes has praised her side’s resilience, togetherness and will to learn as the catalysts behind their successful season. 

Positive season

“On the whole it’s been a very positive season for us. 

“From where we started, to where we have finished, I am very proud of everyone because this hasn’t happened by accident, it’s due to the hard work of everyone on and off the pitch. 

“We’ve all pulled together in the same direction and put in some very good performances but also shown our resilience when we needed to get results, while also learning and developing as a team and that isn’t easy to do in one of the toughest leagues in the world.”

Oxtoby’s Impact

“It was easy to see why they appointed Tanya from the moment she came in. 

“It shows the type of character she is to take the job at the time she did and knowing the challenge she had on her hands to not only assemble a squad but then get us to be able to play as a team. 

“Obviously she couldn’t do it without the rest of the staff whether it’s been on the pitch or behind the scenes, but they’ve all worked incredibly hard to provide the best environment for us.

“The only issue is I have to speak a lot slower when we have a conversation because I don’t think my Welsh Valleys accent is something she has yet to get use too!” 

Squad Unity

“There have been games where we’ve had to solve problems and fight our way back into games sometimes when we probably had no right too but we did it by sticking together, digging deep and helping each other out. 

“We’ve got to know each other well and spoke about how we can get the best out of each other because everyone is different and responds differently to things. I think that’s helped us a lot and valuing everyone’s part they play in the team. 

“When we go out on the pitch I think you can see that in the way we play, not as individuals but together as one.” 

Leading from within

“I think I’ve used the phrase ‘we are a young team’ a few times during the season, I obviously don’t include myself or Frankie in that, we must bring up the average age of the team by quite a few years!

“I’ve been extremely impressed by how the girls have dealt with everything that’s been thrown at them this season. 

“For some it’s their first season in this league, first time training as a full time professional,  I think of players such as Sophie Baggely as an experienced player when really she’s just still learning her trade. 

“All  of the girls have taken ownership and responsibility for making sure they are learning and developing every session and they go on the pitch ready to perform.”

Looking ahead

“We’ll probably look at our points total this season and set ourselves a target based off of that as well as looking back at how many goals we conceded and scored. 

“There’s no point thinking too far ahead as a league is about consistency and taking each game as it comes with its own different challenges, but ultimately we want to build off this season and keep moving forward in our development. 

“As is the nature of football, as one season ends the hard work for next season has already begun and there are a huge amount of exciting things happening at this club to hopefully take it forward in the right direction.”