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Exclusive: Bristol Academy Boss Outlines His Vision

Recently-appointed Bristol Academy WFC Head Coach, Willie Kirk, spoke to Bristol Sport this week to outline his vision for the future of the club.

Kirk joined the Vixens from the Scottish Football Association where he had been working as women's high performance manager, following a five year stint in charge of Hibernian, winning Scottish Women's Manager of the Year in 2013.

Explaining why he made the move south, to a team currently sitting bottom of the WSL1, Kirk commented:

"Moving to the WSL was very attractive to me. I'd spoken to Bristol previously and the infastructure of the club was really important to me, they have a great philosophy of developing their own players, and the facilities are fantastic.

"In the short term I'm looking to move us off the bottom and finish above the relegation zone, which would guarantee us a place in the league next season.

"Medium to long term, we'll be trying to develop our own players, and develop a playing style and infastructure that gives us long-term success."

The Scot has been impressed with the attitude of the squad he inherited from former coach Dave Edmondso.:

"The girls have been fantastic, the first week was hectic, with the back-to-back games, but we got through that with two points, which was really positive."

Ahead of a tricky away game with currently unbeaten WSL1 league leaders Chelsea this Sunday, July 12th (2pm kick-off), Kirk says his squad are ready to cause a shock. 

"The girls are buzzing, they can't wait for Sunday, as am I. I feel a bit like a kid at Christmas right now waiting for the game.

"We'll put pressure on ourselves, we believe that we can pick up points from these games."

The game follows the conclusion of an extremely successful World Cup campaign for the national side, with the team, led by former Vixens Head Coach Mark Sampson, grabbing third place in Canada.

Kirk is hoping that the national team's success will inspire fans to begin to watch the domestic game in larger numbers.

"The World Cup has given us a real opportunity to kick on and bring more people through the gates to watch women's football in Bristol."

See several of England's World Cup squad in action as Bristol Academy face Manchester City Women at the Stoke Gifford Stadium on Saturday, July 18th at 3pm - tickets start at just £5 for adults and £3 concessions, click here to book your tickets.

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